Whether you’re home or away for the holidays, we’ve cooked up some great energy-efficient ways to help you make the most of every moment (and dollar)!
All is bright
When it comes to holiday lighting, avoid overloading your circuits. Instead, consider trading those energy-draining incandescent strands for the more efficient LED versions. A string of large incandescent lights often uses from 5 to 10 watts per individual bulb, while energy-efficient LEDs use less than 4 watts per 70-bulb string. Another idea is to set timers to keep lights on only when you and your neighbors are around and awake to enjoy them, typically around 8 hours per day.
Deck the halls
Green up your holidays and buy a tree with no trash pickup needed! If you’re planning to decorate a real tree, why not buy a live one and plant it outside at the end of the holiday? Missed the time frame for planting? Put a reminder in your calendar now to try it out next year. Here’s how it works:
- Purchase a container tree or one with a root ball
- Dig a hole in your yard in late fall, fill it with mulch and cover with a tarp so you’re ready to plant the tree after the holidays
- Acclimate the tree to the elements in a garage or shed before bringing it inside or planting outside
- Keep the tree indoors in a watertight tub with ice cubes for a maximum of 10 days near a cool window
Baby, it’s cold outside
Keep your home warm and cozy this holiday by installing a programmable, smart thermostat to save money and energy – lowering the thermostat for an 8 hour period while you’re out of the house during the day can definitely save on your heating costs. Other great ways to avoid the cold shoulder? Close the flue on your fireplace, and keep those doors closed on your fireplace when not in use as a means of preventing undue heat loss. Consider winterizing old, drafty windows with insulation film to seal any air leaks, too. Check out our DIY guide to easily prep your windows for winter here.
Oh, bring us a figgy pudding
Cooking can be one of the biggest energy drains on your home this time of year, but there are some simple ways to make it more efficient. Prepare multiple dishes in the oven at once, since the same amount of energy is required to preheat an oven, regardless of the number of items you’re cooking. You can also consider using your microwave, a pressure cooker, or a slow cooker as they can all be more energy-efficient ways of whipping up your holiday meal (vs. the oven).
Over the river and through the woods
Before you hit the road or take to the sky, leave your faucets on at a slow drip to prevent pipes from bursting during extreme temperatures. If you don’t have pets at home, turn down your thermostat while you’re gone, too. Also be sure to keep your home and belongings protected while you’re away. Keeping lights on constantly (or not at all) while you’re out of town, is like tying a bow on your house as a present for burglars! Keep your inside and outside lights on timers to make it less appealing for break-ins.
Hope our energy-saving guide gives you some ideas to stay green this holiday. Happy holidays from IGS!