Green may be a traditional colour of the festive period, but being green isn’t necessarily at the top of everyone’s Christmas list. The season of joy and goodwill does sometimes lead to extra energy use and waste. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to have an eco-friendlier Christmas and spread holiday cheer. A simple place to start is how you light up your house.
Most people enjoy decking their homes with outdoor lighting – it’s cheery and gets everyone in the Christmas spirit. Here we'll show you how you can decorate the outside and be green too.
Remember fiddling about with your string of lights, trying to work out which bulb had burnt out and caused them all to go off? Thankfully, more reliable and durable LED Christmas lights have stopped all that. Not only do they last around ten times longer than traditional string lights, but they also use 80% less energy, so they’re more environmentally friendly.
LED lights are now available in as many styles as traditional lighting, providing gentle and warm glows as well as a whole host of colours. You could opt for traditional string lights draped in a tree outdoors, or try icicle lights or a curtain of LED Christmas lights along the front porch or balcony for a dramatic effect.
Solar-powered lights are one of the most energy-efficient ways to light the inside, or outside, of your home. But do solar-powered Christmas lights really work properly in the winter? It might surprise you, but the answer is yes. You just need to ensure that your lights are waterproof and that you position the solar panel in a prime position for any sunlight or daylight. When you put them out, don't forget to leave them for at least a day to charge before you first switch them on so they can really soak up any available sunlight.
You can find a timer for your fairy lights at any DIY store. These are just like the ones you use for your interior lights when you’re on holiday, and using one can save a lot of energy. You only really get the most from your outdoor lighting in the early mornings, afternoons and evenings, when it’s dark and a bit of extra Christmas sparkle is required. Set the timer to make sure your lights turn off during the lightest part of the day and at night, so you don’t need to head outside in the cold and shut them off manually.
Homemade wreaths and decorations with pinecones make perfect festive brighteners for your front door, in combination with, or instead of, lights. Collecting and making them is a fun weekend activity with children, too – try dipping some in glitter and positioning them in your outdoor trees. Don’t forget you can plant up a few pots or window boxes in good time, too. Keep them full of bright winter blooms like poinsettia and cyclamen so your garden looks as full and warm as possible over the festive season.
There are plenty of ways you can make your Christmas a little bit greener this year. What else will you change to make your holiday season a bit more eco-friendly?