The holidays bring out the energy guzzlers in us all. We’re cooking more, traveling more, and the decorations we love are costing us more. You already know the culprit. It’s those gorgeous Christmas lights, strung up around your house and making your electricity bill skyrocket.
Let’s get into the ins and outs of energy consumption this holiday season, and what you can do to live your best greenest life. Believe it or not, you can take your power back by deciding how you generate energy. Get Santa on the phone right now! ‘Tis the season for a solar powered Christmas!
The Gift of Low-Carbon Emissions
Deck the halls and jingle the bells, we have good news. It’s totally possible to reduce your carbon footprint, lower the amount of waste from your home, and cut the cost of your energy bill. Here are some ways you can give the gift of low carbon emissions this holiday season:
Every year, there’s an uptake in travel around the holidays and you know what that means? Air pollution. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, travel accounts for 29% of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. Maybe you’re visiting that grandma in upstate California or planning to carol with friends in the Longhorn State, but regardless of where you’re going, you have to make plans to get there.
For shorter distances, try going by train and whenever possible, opt out of flying. If you must fly, it’s good practice flying one-way without connecting flights. Here’s a calculator that will help you calculate your travel footprint before confirming your plans.
Real or Artificial?
We all know a good tree is hard to find. You’re thinking about height, color schemes, and most importantly, how that perfect piece of pine will look in your home. But have you considered the environment in your tree hunt? While home grown is always the best option, there aren’t many willing to wait up to 15 years for it.
If you find a cut tree, make sure you’re selecting one from a local, sustainable source and properly recycling it at the end of the season. If you have an artificial tree, try to make it last as long as possible. Remember, it would take 5 years for the carbon footprint to actually be lower than a cut tree.
It’s important to consider what you’re choosing to wrap your gifts with. Wrapping paper isn’t all about the bright colors or the funky patterns. There are so many ways to beautifully disclose your presents to your loved ones that don’t hurt your budget or the planet. When you’re shelling out the dough for your gift decorations, it’s best to choose an option that’s affordable but also one that does the least damage. You know what that means? Get creative.
Here’s some cool choices – newspaper, an oldie but a goodie; or fabric, which is always a great option. Think old T-shirts, blankets you aren’t using, and pretty much anything you don’t mind cutting up. You could even reuse your old boxes or upcycle old wrapping paper and holiday cards. If you want to use wrapping paper, opt for string instead of tape to preserve the quality of the paper for reuse.
The holidays can be expensive but gift-giving and decorations don’t have to break the bank every year. When possible, a truly sentimental present is one that you create yourself. Let crafting take the reins this year. Find ways to express your love and gratitude by picking up a more sustainable hobby.
Also, there are many unique ways to style your home with homemade decorations. Grab the coffee filters in your pantry and transform them into a swanky garland for your fireplace. Breakout the old sewing machine for the family stockings. You can even get creative with the ornaments you hang from your tree, like using dried orange slices and cinnamon sticks. For more DIY Christmas ideas, check this out.
Shedding Some Light.
Christmas lights are your home’s holiday beacon. Everyone wants the fanciest display to spread Christmas cheer around their neighborhood. A useful tip is to set your lights on a timer this year. That way, you aren’t consuming any unnecessary electricity. You might also consider changing up your light bulbs. LED lights are one of the easiest and most efficient ways to improve the sustainability of your home. Newsflash: they use about 90% less energy. But when it comes to Christmas lights, don’t just choose LEDs – go solar.
Are solar powered Christmas lights any good?
Solar powered Christmas lights are the best way to bring in the holidays. This season, choose the green way when considering how to power the lights of your home. Whether you’re decorating the outside of your house or lighting up your Christmas tree, solar powered Christmas lights are definitely good. These high efficiency, optimal quality lights are powered by the abundant energy of the sun. Let’s run through a few reasons you should be choosing solar lights:
- Reliability: Stay powered all through the season. Homeowners who understand the balance between quality and resilience have already made the switch to solar and added a solar panel battery backup to their home system. Solar power Christmas lights are the icing on the cake. They can last for up to 4 years and the LED lights can last even longer.
- Safety: Chuck the unsightly and dangerous extension cords because these lights don’t need outlets. Place your lights wherever you want without the hassle of finding an electrical outlet. Homeowners love to place these lights outdoors because they don’t require lengthy power cords all over their yards.
- Eco-friendly: This is the year of the Green Christmas! Solar has so many environmental benefits, but the biggest one is quite simple. Solar Christmas lights will not cause any polluting gas emissions.
Can solar Christmas lights cut your energy bills?
Solar Christmas lights are a great option if you want to save money this holiday season. According to the Washington Post, “A string of 25 incandescent C9 bulbs — the big plump ones often used outdoors — uses 175 watts of electricity, which works out to a whopping $15.12 to run over a season (assuming 12-hour-a-day operation for 45 days).” That’s a hefty price to pay for lights so bright, you can see them from outer space.
Since solar powered Christmas lights don’t need to be plugged into your home, they’ll save you a huge amount of money on your electric bill. For an out-of-season budget planner, learn how to read your utility bill. This will provide a supreme understanding of your regular energy costs to find out how best to save next holiday season.
A Solar Powered Christmas
Take your eco-friendly Christmas to the next level and switch to solar. In terms of savings, the cost of going solar is the ultimate gift that keeps on giving. Right now, there are so many financial incentives that make solar an affordable, green option. It’s time to ho-ho-hold onto your money this Christmas and go solar.