Despite the Black Friday and/ or Cyber Monday deals you scored this year, the holidays can put a big dent in your wallet. From gifts for the kids, to decorations and parties, expenses in the month of December not only lengthen your credit card statement, but they also make quite the (negative) impact on your carbon footprint. This year, ensure that your holidays are more energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly with these seven tips.
1. If you’re in the market for a new set of Christmas lights, opt for energy efficient LEDs. They use 90 percent less energy than older, incandescent lights. And while they might be pricy, they’ll offer you major savings in the energy long run.
2. Whether they adorn your mantle, your Christmas tree or the gutters around your house, holiday lights (preferably the LED versions) should be turned off during the day and before you go to sleep at night. You’ll save on energy and your lights will last longer, meaning you’ll also save money, as you won’t have to buy new light sets each year.
3. You remember your reusable cloth bags when grocery shopping, but what about when gift shopping? Take your cloth bags with you to the stores so you don’t send all those paper and plastic totes to the landfill.
4. Once you’ve done the shopping, it’s time for the wrapping! Rather than waste a roll (or many rolls) of paper, recycle what you’ve already got. Here are some great environmentally-respectful wrapping ideas, from newspapers and brown paper bags to cupcake liners and road maps!
5. When your friends and family come over for your holiday party, turn down the thermostat. Let your guests double as live space heaters that don’t require plugging in or charging up (just a couple of cocktails and cookies).
6. Last year, we told you to get a real tree as opposed to an artificial fir. This year, we’re telling you that neither option works. Instead, we love the idea of recycling any number of items you already have to DIY your very own custom, eco-friendly Tannenbaum.
7. If you and your family are celebrating Hanukkah, take the Green Menorah pledge! Every night you light a candle, pledge to do one thing different to make your life greener. Get inspired by this list or come up with your own sustainable goals.