With Christmas just around the corner, everybody is looking forward to seeing Christmas trees and festive Christmas decorations.

But did you know that an extravagant display will cost enough money to heat and power an average house for six weeks?  Not only that, it will produce enough carbon dioxide to fill two double-decker busses.  Even if you use conventional lights on your tree for 10 hours a day for the 12 days of Christmas, that is still producing enough carbon dioxide to inflate 10 party balloons.

With those thoughts in mind, here are some tips to reduce energy costs without dimming the Christmas spirit.

  1. Use LED lights and other energy-saving bulbs.  LED lights use 80% less energy than conventional tree lights.  They also last longer and stay cooler.  Plus, the brilliance of their color can actually enhance visual appeal.  Other energy-saving bulbs can also last longer and help you save significantly on energy costs, and come in a variety of fittings, shapes and sizes.
  2. Limit hours. There is really no need to have your tree and other decorations lit up in the wee hours of the morning, when nobody will see them. You can set timers on your tree so they turn on when it gets dark, and turn off at a specified time.  Or you can just make sure to turn them off when you go to bed.  It is also a good idea not to have the lights on when you are not home.
  3. Limit the number of strings you use.  You don’t need every square inch of your tree covered with lights.  Sometimes using fewer strings can make for a more elegant tree and more appealing outside decorations.
  4. Utilize ornaments and tinsel.  It’s not all about the lights.  Reflective ornaments and tinsel are just as bright, and don’t cost anything to use.