Shortly before our holiday, we took part in a challenge to raise more awareness about saving energy at home through a piece of activity.

You might be wondering what we had to do? Spend one week without playing with electronic/electrical or battery-powered toys and try to reduce our energy usage in general. We only used non electrical toys when playing during the duration of a week.

We have a mix of toys at home and little man plays with both electronic toys and more basic and non-animated toys. Although we always encourage little man to do painting, colouring and reading, he ends up playing more with electronic toys.

Energy company E.ON researched about toy trends over the years, showing a sharp increase in the popularity of battery operated and electronic toys, jumping from fifth most popular plaything in the 1980s to top choice today.

Looking at all aspects of home life, E.ON continues to encourage Brits to become more Energy Fit – to help parents better understand their energy use at home and see where potential savings can be made. E.ON has launched this survey to draw attention to today’s increasing reliance on battery operated and electronic toys and games with a reminder of all the traditional and timeless toys each generation remembers fondly from its childhood.

Day 1 – Wednesday 18th July

First day of our challenge, I checked out E.ON 100 ways to help you get energy fit and save money for tips on reducing our energy usage at home.

Saving energy while washing clothes: The big pile of dirty clothes was calling. Before using the washing machine, I found that descaling would help it run more efficiently. Descaling done, I switched to cold wash and it was just effective to wash our clothes at 30C. Simple changes while washing clothes save lots of energy on the long run.

When little man got home from nursery, we got paints and crayons out for messy play. He made a beautiful card for daddy’s birthday and styled one of his while t-shirts by using finger painting. We both had a lot of fun and it was very relaxing activity.

Day 2 – Thursday 19th July

It’s daddy’s birthday. Little man got the paints out again and made a special “30” t-shirt for daddy using brushes and hand print. Daddy had a big smile on his face when he got home from work, he loves his personalised t-shirt.

Saving energy while cooking: I found that I didn’t need to preheat my fan oven, saucepan lids help to save energy and opening the oven would waste heat. By implementing those simple changes when cooking daddy’s birthday dinner, we saved energy.

Day 3 – Friday 20th July

Lovely sunshine, so little man and I explored our garden and went hunting for little creatures. I am a biologist, I love little animals (and big ones too!), little man seems to share the same love. We spent hours crawling in the garden and it was a lot of fun.

Saving energy with heating: the days are warmer, but we still need to put the heating on in the evening. I turned down the central heating from 21C to 19C and switched off the heating radiators in the bedrooms when we are in the living room.

Day 4 – Saturday 21st July

Gorgeous day, so little man took his backpack filled with a drink and snacks for a walk in the park. He loves picking flowers so he found it enjoyable.

Saving energy in the bathroom: I usually fill up the bath a bit too much for little man, so now we are filling it up just as much as we need. Instead of having a bath, I had a shower, saving up to twice as much hot water.

Day 5 – Sunday 22nd July

Another beautiful day, so we made the most of the weekend by going to another walk in the sunshine. Backpack ready, it’s time to hit the road and have some fresh air.

Saving energy while washing dishes: instead of just washing single items, we waited for a full sink before washing the dishes. They were rinsed in cold water, instead of hot water. Dishes were just as clean as we saved lots of energy.

Day 6 – Monday 23rd July

Little man has a lot of books, so we had a reading session, we were taking turns, first I read a story for him, and then he would read a story for me. It was lovely.

Saving energy with appliances: it only took me a few minutes to go around the house and switch off appliances that were left on standby, from TVs and DVD players to computers.

Day 7 – Tuesday 24th July

Little man and I played the “helping to hang the clothes game”, he helped me by giving me pegs while I hanged the clothes outside. While we were doing it, we were counting the pegs and identifying the different colours. Interactive, educative, fun and helpful game!

Saving energy while on holiday: we are getting ready for our summer holiday, so I unplugged all the chargers, switched off cooker, microwave, boiler and fridge.

Overall, it was a very enjoyable challenge. Although I wasn’t too confident at first, we were successful in spending one week using non electrical toys when playing. Little man and I spent more time engaged in creative activities and we shared lots of laughs and smiles. As a result, we feel closer to each other by the end of the challenge. I have also found easy ways to save energy, I will be keeping the changes outlined above to reduce our energy bill.

You can follow E.ON for more energy saving tips. and there are a couple of polls on E.ON’s Facebook page

For your chance to win one of the four timeless toys, please follow the instructions below:

1. Paddington Bear

2. My Little Pony (Vehicle)

3. Airfix Supermarine Spitfire and Messerschmitt Kit (model kit)

4. Meccano (15 Multi Models)


1. Follow my blog by email AND leave a comment with your best energy saving tip

Extra Entries:

2. Follow @talkingenergy on Twitter

3. Like E.ON’s Facebook page

4. Follow @LilinhaWorld on Twitter

5. Like Lilinha Angel’s World on Facebook

6. Tweet “I want to win one of four timeless toys with @talkingenergy #alltimefavourite at @LilinhaWorld blog

You may tweet daily for extra entries. Please leave one blog comment for each extra entry. If you have followed all the steps above, please leave 6 comments.

Competition open to UK residents until 23.59pm on Friday 17th August.

Good Luck everyone! 🙂 x

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