Greening Up Your Holidays
As we slide into the last few festive weeks of 2007, we should take time to make sure our decorations and celebrations are wise choices; not only for our pocketbooks but our planet too. Going green for the holiday season can save you some greenbacks and green up Mother Earth and it can be as simple as buying some strands of LED Christmas Lights.
That’s right, pretty soon you’ll dive headlong into the yearly tradition of pulling some dusty boxes out of the depths of storage to unveil a plethora of holiday decorating pleasure. One of those yearly tasks undoubtedly involves straightening strand after strand of lights, replacing broken bulbs and figuring out why the center of your light display from last year isn’t lighting anymore. You could circumvent the whole process by buying new strands of lights that will save you that future hassle and some money too!
LED Christmas lights are relatively new to the holiday decoration market. But they’re a huge win in time and energy savings. LED’s can burn up to 100,000 hours, providing year after year of hassle free dazzle. Last year, Pacific Gas and Electric ran some tests on the new lights and found out LED’s use little energy. According to their test results, a strand of 300 regular mini Christmas lights will use a little more than 30 kW/h (kilowatt hours) over the course of six weeks. That’s about $5 worth of electricity. Those giant sized lights you have hanging on the eaves of your roof will suck 473 kW/h or about $76 in power. Talk about an energy hog! A strand of 300 LED lights will use just 3 kW/h, costing you a mere $0.47 to power for the month. Add those savings up over the course of the month for your entire holiday display and you might just be able to afford that Caribbean cruise in February!
But energy savings isn’t the only plus. LED Christmas lights are also significantly safer than normal incandescent light strands because LED’s emit little heat. That will help prevent your Christmas tree from drying out and becoming a possible fire hazard thanks to layer after layer of hot lights. Plus, if you have little ones in the family they won’t get burned by touching the LED’s. So, when you go to pick out new lights for your decorations this year, make a change. It’s going to be tempting to pick out the same ‘ol cheap lights when you see that LED’s cost more (about $10 or $15 for a string of 100). But, if you spend a little extra now, you’re guaranteed to save money on your holiday electric bill, save the frustration of broken and burned out light bulbs and save the environment too.
Your Christmas tree is literally green but there are other uses for that dried out wonder when you’re done. You can move the tree outside and decorate again, this time with orange slices, pine cones smeared with peanut butter and suet balls filled with sunflowers. Soon your yard will be filled with birds of all kinds taking part in the holiday celebration. Make sure to remove all tinsel though because it will kill our feathered friends. You can also trim the tree down and compost the needles and twigs, drying the trunk for next year’s Yule log. Many cities are now collecting Christmas trees and turning them into mulch for city parks and citizens. Or, you can purchase a living Christmas tree that you can plant in your yard or donate to a local school.
LED Christmas lights and recycling your tree are just two simple ways to make sure your season greeting are a little greener. Happy Holidays! You can read another article I wrote that is just about holiday LED lights here.