As you prepare for Christmas, Hanukkah, or any other occasion during the holiday season, it’s no time to forget about your commitment to being a good steward of the environment. Striving to reduce your carbon footprint is in style all year round, so check out these tips for preparing your house for an eco-friendly holiday. You’ll see a few small changes can have a big impact.
If you haven’t already done so, now is as great a time as any to switch the incandescent light bulbs in your home — and that includes holiday lights that you may have around your tree or outside of your home — for LED light bulbs. While incandescent light bulbs are definitely cheaper than LED light bulbs, you can eventually recoup the money you spend on upgrading your light bulbs over time as you reduce your energy expenses.
Get a Real Tree
One of the most wasteful things some homeowners do during the holidays is get a fake tree that will eventually just end up on the curb and then in a landfill. You can avoid this by getting a real tree. If it’s small enough to put in a pot — say, a young evergreen tree — then you can use it year after year. If it’s a larger real tree, then you can get rid of it responsibly by doing any of the following:
- Replant it outdoors
- Cut it up and use it as firewood once it properly dries and seasons
- Put it through a wood chipper to be used as mulch
You can cut back on your water consumption in various different ways. For instance, you can take shorter showers, wash only full loads of clothes in the washing machine and of dishes in the dishwasher, install water-saving shower heads, insulate your pipes, and even shut off the water once you wet your toothbrush. If you really want to be proactive, you can go the extra step by using a water meter to ascertain whether or not there may be water leaks. What you’ll want to do is to check the house water meter prior to and after a 120-minute period during which time you ensure that there’s no water use. If there is a difference in the readings before and after the water cut-off period, then you’ll know that you have a leak situation that you need to find and fix.
Energy Efficient Appliances
If you’re in the market for some new appliances — perhaps a fridge, a freezer, or a stove — be sure to get something that’s energy efficient. Doing so will help you to greatly reduce your energy consumption, which will cut not only your energy bill, but also your carbon footprint. Depending on how long you end up owning your energy efficient appliances, you will eventually recoup the financial outlay with the energy savings…all while doing your part for the environment.
The better your house is insulated, the easier it will be to heat and to cool your home. Insulation is especially critical if you live in an older home that might have inadequate insulation compared to what newer homes have due to better insulation standards. So, be sure to insulate your roof, attic, and walls to ensure that your furnace and air conditioner don’t have to work too hard to efficiently heat and cool your home.
Importance of Preparing for an Eco-Friendly Holiday
It’s important to remember that doing the right thing as a steward of the environment can and will have a positive impact on your bottom line as you save money on energy consumption. So, make preparing your house for an eco-friendly holiday part of your plans for the season.
Biofriendly Planet Magazine would like to thank Uma Campbell for her insightful article. Uma is a yoga instructor and freelance writer. She currently lives in Southern California. She enjoys writing about meditation, natural medicine, and home design. Her interests include: home decor, yoga, and running. She also really loves crafting. She has her own line of home-made jewelry.