Kids today are the first to come of age in an era in which the earth’s health has been prioritized as an important social issue. They’ve internalized the green lessons they’ve learned at school and in pop culture, and they feel a personal connection and responsibility toward the earth. They’re even taking these environmental lessons home with them, teaching – even policing – their family members.  Here’s 5 simple ways to Shift and save over $1,500 with your kids on their video gaming habits, which they’ll be only too happy to oblige you.

Renter's Insurance 
Rent new video games instead of buying them. You can save up to $500 per year or more compared to buying two new video games per month. Video rentals are a great way to promote reuse, which not only saves production resources, but ultimately reduces waste as well. Try games before purchasing them and avoid buyer’s regret.

Get Used to It 
Instead of getting the newest generation of video game console, buy a used one from someone who is upgrading to the latest version.

You’ll not only save up to $400 or more depending on the model you can also keep functional electronics from being thrown into a landfill, or from being recycled prematurely. You’ll also save the plastics, metals, and fossil fuel energy used to produce the new console you decided to forgo. People who get rid of old consoles might also want to free themselves of games for that console. See if you can get the games thrown in for free, or at least at a discount.

CHECK THIS OUT: Nearly 60 million U.S. homes have at least one video game console, and the average console uses as much energy per year as two refrigerators. In all, Americans consume 16 billion kilowatt-hours of energy per year playing video games—the same amount of energy used annually by the entire city of San Diego.

Power Down 
When it’s not in use, teach your kids to make a habit of powering down the video game console. This may mean remembering to turn the console off, or setting up the power-saving feature, which automatically powers down the device after a period of time. Leaving the console on and idle can use nearly as much energy as playing a game. You could save up to $160 per year compared to leaving the console in idle mode when not in use. In addition, you’ll conserve up to 1,500 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year and one ton of CO2.

Shift It Tip: If the power supply to the console is hard to reach, or you don’t want your kids dealing with electric wiring, plug the console into a power strip with a timer. Set the timer so the console turns on and off at certain hours every day. This is not only a great way to save energy, but can be a strategy to limit your kids’ video game time as well.


Buy used video games instead of new ones and save up to $350 per year or more compared to buying two new games per month. 
You could conserve the energy and material resources needed to make new games. Buying used means your kids can get more games for the same amount of money and there’s less financial risk involved when trying out a game they’ve never played before.

Game Swap

If most of your kids’ friends have the same video game system, you might arrange to have a video game trading party. Have the kids bring games they no longer play and trade them for games other kids are looking to unload. (This also works well with toys and board games.) Save Up to $250 or more per year compared to buying two used games per month. Simply reusing video games can save the manufacturing energy and inputs associated with new games. If the alternative to the trading party was selling used games online, you’ll also save the materials and transportation energy used to ship the games to the new owners.

For more easy shifts like these, pick up a copy of Shift Your Habit. This article comes courtesy of and was reprinted here with permission.