Keeping life green and simple
The house is full of the smells of Christmas cooking, “12 days of Christmas” is playing on the radio and your decorations are lighting up the tree and the windows. It’s an expensive time of year, but so much fun. So to help you avoid too much of a Christmas (financial) hangover we thought we’d offer a few tips on how to save energy and thereby money over the festive period. So enjoy Christmas and here are 100Green's 12 days of Christmas tips to save a bit of energy amid the holiday hurly-burly.
Christmas, its all about the sparkle, the lights, and decorations. Why not buy LED Christmas lights, they are just as sparkly and yet can save a lot on energy consumption.
Christmas lights will also not provide the same effect during the day as they do at night so turn them on at dusk and off before you go to bed. That way you can enjoy the sparkle when you are awake and save energy when you are sleeping.
And with the oven on a lot more, cooking all that lovely Christmas food, the excess heat will make the house warmer. Therefore, consider turning down your heating when the oven is on by one or two degrees. Its amazing over a whole year this can save as much as £85 to £90 per year.
Christmas is often gadget heaven. Leaving all your new gadgets and TVs on standby also wastes energy, so remember to turn off all your new electrical equipment when not in use. If you get a new phone for Christmas, make sure you recycle your old phone – many charities and environmental groups take old mobiles. By turning off, you will save more power and money.
With lots of friends and family over, you may find that the house stays warmer, so turn down your heating thermostat by one or two degrees.
Fridges can also be expensive to run, so make sure your freezer is well stocked with lots of Christmas goodies, as a full freezer uses much less power.
You can also save energy in the home by making sure your windows and doors are draft-proof; this will keep you, your family and your guests warmer in winter and help reduce your heating costs.
If you are visiting friends and family, remember turn down your heating and hot water, don’t leave appliances on standby etc. Turning appliances off costs nothing, yet saves you money. If you have a programmer or timer, adjust your heating and hot water timer according to your holiday plans, as depending upon the weather you may need to keep it on a suitable level to stop your pipes from freezing. By setting the heating system to come on for as short a time as possible you will save money.
Enhance the sparkle. Why have your main lights switched on when you have the Christmas lights on. Or if you haven’t done so already, switch to energy-saving light bulbs - these last twelve times longer than regular light bulbs. A whopping £80 million could be saved if every home in the UK had just one room with an energy saving light bulb. These bulbs have come down in price substantially in the past few years.
Christmas presents for friends and family. Look for low energy gadgets that consume less energy. For example, there are some great gadgets out there such as solar chargers for mobile phones, eco shower gadgets, designer lightbulbs etc. Or for the less gadget conscious, help your family to stock up on cosy jumpers and slippers for the winter to keep them warm.
With all those Christmas treats to bake, why not save energy and your time by cooking as much as possible in the oven. You can always freeze portions of food to warm up at a later date. Keeping the oven closed while you're cooking all saves energy. Each time you open the door the oven loses heat and requires more energy to get back up to temperature. Defrosting food in advance can also cut down on cooking times by up to 50%.
And at the end of Christmas Day, after you’ve done all the cooking, why not sit down, and relax!
So there you are; no massive changes in behaviour; no major sacrifices and no hair shirts either.. Above all though, enjoy a well-earned holiday. Merry Christmas.
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