Strings of lights add a gorgeous glow to a Christmas tree, but can consume a lot of energy if left unchecked. For sparkle and pizzazz without wasting precious and pricey electricity, families can choose to use the following methods or alternatives.
Set a Timer
There isn’t a perfect alternative for actual Christmas lights – candles are dangerous, and anything else that produces light must feed from electricity. The worst energy waste of Christmas lights is when no one is in the room to enjoy the light show. It’s pointless and wasteful indeed to have Christmas lights on perpetually, so it is important to have the lights on only when family and friends are in the room, admiring the Christmas tree.
It’s a good idea to purchase an automatic timer, which can be set to turn the Christmas tree lights on and off at certain times every day. Barring that, simply remember to turn the lights off before leaving the house or going to bed.
Slender bits of reflective metal are great for capturing ambient light and creating a sparkling look without the use of electricity. Disposable tinsel isn’t the best choice since it is not biodegradable, but Victorian tinsel is sturdy and attractive ornamentation that can become a family heirloom. Victorian tinsel is a thin strip of bright tin, twisted to catch the light at all angles and attached to a hanger. It can be reused indefinitely if well cared for, and will add sparkle and light to any Christmas tree.
Eco Tip: Vintage style mirror ornaments help to reflect light around the tree. When the room is occupied, candles can also be placed near the Christmas tree to add extra romance and resource friendly holiday glow.
Using Natural Materials Instead
Instead of wrapping lights around the tree, families can decide to use a garland or bows of metallic ribbon. Ribbon woven with thin metallic threads catches light and creates a lovely glow. It is also very easy to reuse through the years, and may be turned to different decorative purposes or even resold.
Although electricity is required to create light, reflective decorations can make a tree sparkle using only the ambient light in a room. If fairy lights on the Christmas tree are a must have, invest in updating all strings to the most energy efficient, LED versions available on the market. By taking just a little bit of extra effort to set up a timer or turn extra lights off, families can help to conserve electricity and save the planet.