This Holiday season, most people will be decorating the insides and outsides of their homes and workplaces to participate in the Holiday festivities. In years’ past, people have created fabulous displays out of nearly millions of tiny light bulbs, consuming what appeared to be megawatts of power. Most folks are on a budget these days and are looking for ways of showing off their holiday spirit, without breaking the bank. For us, saving energy is one way we’ll do it, and in the meantime, have an ecofriendly Christmas. One of the best ways to save energy is by using inexpensive, nonelectric decorations.
Utilize foil for a reflective surface
To be truly green, it’s best to reduce, reuse, and recycle. One of the things that can be reused is aluminum foil. Most foils have one or two shiny surfaces that can be used to create a reflecting ornament to hang in a tree, or create mini reflectors to mingle with your outside lights to provide additional reflective surfaces for lights to sparkle on.
Wrapping paper and ribbon on doors
Why not wrap your exterior door like a big Christmas present? It’s easy to do and can even be done with last year’s remaining new or carefully removed paper. You’re going to need a lot of it to wrap a standard size door, but you can get away with taping the paper to the top and bottom edges of the door and reduce the amount needed. Add a festive ribbon for a finishing touch.
Make your own wreath
If you have a pine tree or evergreen bush that needs a little trimming, do it for the holidays and save the trimmings. You can shape them into lush, full circles and fasten them together to create your own wreathes. If you need a little assistance, metal loops can be bought at whatever size you need from your local craft store.
If you have a pine tree, decorate your tree with homemade decorations
Living trees can make great Christmas trees for your ecofriendly Christmas. Decorate them by hanging pine cones, dodge balls, toys, tinsel, whatever! Be creative, and simply look for colorful, oversized objects to place or hang in your tree.
Energy efficient LED lights
If you simply must have lights on your house, in your trees, or all over your yard, look for outdoor rated LED decorative lights. LED lights consume mere fractions of the power that ordinary incandescent bulbs use, and yet still provide colorful lights. Consumer Reports measured the energy consumption of 50 foot strands of LED lights and ordinary incandescent lights over 300 hours, and found that the strand of LED lights consumed 1-3 kilowatt hours versus 12 to 105 kilowatt hours for incandescent, depending on the size of bulbs used, for a total savings of between $1 and $11 over 300 hours. For lighting your house, yet saving energy, they can’t be beat. I’ve used them before, and another advantage they have over incandescent bulbs is that they last for what seems like forever. I’ve never gone more than a couple of weeks without one of the incandescent bulbs going out!
“Holiday Lights: Incandescent vs. LED”. Consumer Reports.