LED Christmas Lights a Wise Choice

You can give yourself and the planet a nifty gift this holiday season by practicing eco-friendly habits and choosing LED Christmas lights. LED lights are inexpensive (often less than $10 for a 50-bulb strand), sturdy, glow brightly and most importantly they use very little electricity.

Good Green Habits for Christmas Lights

  • Decorate one outdoor area (your porch, a tree or plant) with lights instead of your entire home.
  • Turn on lights only during key viewing hours.
  • Use a timer so you don’t forget to turn them off.
  • Choose LED Christmas lights instead of incandescent lights since they:
    • reduce energy consumption by as much as 90% compared to traditional incandescent bulbs.
    • produce bright light for up to 20 holiday seasons.
    • generate almost no heat, reducing fire potential.

PG&E in California says switching to LED lights pays off. The following comparison is based on an annual use of 45 days/5 hours daily at a 2010 residential rate of $0.156 kWh.

Qty. of Lights Type of Light Power demand per light (watts) Annual Energy Usage (kWh) Average Annual Operating Costs
300 Large Incandescent 7.00 472.5 $73.71
300 Mini Incandescent 0.45 30.38 $4.74
300 LED Lights 0.43 2.90 $0.45

NOTE: If LED lights aren’t in your budget right now, remember to look for them at after-holiday sales.

STAFF CHAT:  LED lights are looking better than ever.  My favorite LED bulb color is red and least favorite is blue. And, I’m jazzed because although my family spent $90 on LED lighting, we expect to save at least $250 on our electricity bill this holiday season!

Earth Friendly Gift Wrap

Americans discard 25% more garbage between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day than at any other time of year──which adds 5 million extra tons of garbage in our landfills each year!

Good Green Habits for Eco-Friendly Gift Wrap

You can help generate less waste during the holiday season with these easy green steps: 

  • Cover gifts with felt and reuse the felt next year─this works especially well with odd sized gifts!
  • Wrap gifts in old maps, colorful newspaper comics, posters, reusable gift bags, and decorated paper bags, cardboard boxes or baskets.
  • Decorate them with reusable ribbons, twine or bows—and after opening presents, save them for next year.
  • Buy low-cost rolls of leftover wrapping paper from Goodwill or the Salvation Army.
  • Purchase gift wrap made from 100% recycled paper or paper made tree-free fibers such as hemp.  
  • Make gift tags from last year’s holiday cards.