Sometimes it seems that there just isn’t enough time during the holiday season to worry about saving energy, because there is just so much else to do. During the holidays, we spend an enormous amount of energy decorating our homes, yards, and hosting family gatherings. Thing about energy saving while we do it can not only help the environment, but also your pocket book.
Obviously the number one thing that uses energy is all the lights. People put lights on everything both inside and outside the house. One string of lights by itself doesn’t use too much energy, but who uses just one string? Between inside and outside the house we have at least 10 strings, and we don’t put up nearly as many lights as our neighbors do. So all those lights can add up to quite a bit of energy, especially if they are on all night.
A great way to help with this is by using LED Christmas lights. LED lights are light emitting diodes, and they are very bright, use less energy than incandesant lights, and should last for years. Another big advantage they have is that they don’t emit any heat. So if you have a real Christmas tree they are less of a fire hazard.
Another great idea is to limit the amount of time that the lights are on. Do the Christmas lights really need to be on at 2 in the morning? I don’t think so, but I know that we sometimes forget to turn them off. So now we put our lights on automatic timers, and we don’t have to worry about it.
You can also consider replacing some outdoor lights with candles. A set of luminaries lining your sidewalk or driveway can be just as dramatic as Christmas lights, although it does take more effort to light them every night! Solar lights lining the path are another great option that doesn’t use much energy.
Buying rechargeable batteries is another way to save energy. It seems like half of the toys the kids receive for Christmas take batteries, and they go through them quickly. In our house the Xbox controller goes through batteries very quickly, so it just makes sense to get rechargeable batteries and a charger. It is a little more money to start with, but it doesn’t take long to pay off.
So when you are planning out your holiday budget don’t forget to think about your energy bills, and find simple ways to save money and energy.