There’s a buzz in the air this time of year – even this year! The tree goes up, the lights come on, and the power bill simply crackles with delight. Not to worry, it is possible and can even be fun to have a holiday merry and bright, while still keeping things energy efficient.
1. LED Lights
That big tangle of green lights is a non-negotiable, year after year. But the tree lights will be on probably more than any other decoration. Add to that the lights on the house and the windows, and that’s a lot of juice running all the time. But LED lights are just as pretty without drawing as much power – only a fraction of it, in fact. Consider making the switch and unwrapping the bill won’t be so bittersweet this year.
2. Reflective Decorating
Everyone likes a bright room around the holidays, and the quickest way to get there is lots and lots of electric lights, right? Actually, with a little creativity, the bulbs can be reduced while still being put to effective use. Experiment with reflective decorations like tinsel or bells, or even a strategic mirror. Battery-powered candles could be a safe and fun addition, and brighter colors – say, whites and bright reds over dark greens – will help to disperse what lights are already in use.
3. Combine Shopping Trips
Electricity is not the only form of energy working overtime during the holidays. Everyone’s scurrying here and there, and every one of those cars is burning gas. It’s easy to lose track of gas expenses in a hurry, but it’s possible to be proactive and reduce that expense as well. Try combining shopping trips instead of going out every day. Getting the decorations and gifts and groceries at the same time adds up to less gas and even a little less traffic.
4. Old Fashioned Ideas
Did you know that before the advent of electricity, folks still decorated for the holidays? There’s no need to get rid of all modern ideas but sprinkling in a few old-fashioned ideas will help keep costs down without reducing the festive spirit. Try things like wreaths, bows, candles and decorative treats instead of plastic displays or inflatable characters. This reduces the need for manufactured goods, as well as adds a homespun flavor to the décor.
5. Turn ‘Em Off!
The last one has been hollered out by every dad around the world, and it’s still great advice: Turn the lights off! The lights are great, but they should be turned off before bed. And there’s no point in having them on during the day when they cannot be seen. Turn it into a fun nightly ritual with the family or buy a timer to handle it. And when using the special lights, why not turn off the others? That saves energy and sets up a cozy mood for the family.