How to Light Up the Holidays with Sustainability

No matter how you celebrate the season, powering your holidays with 100% renewable energy is a gift to us all. And just as there are many ways to celebrate, there are many ways to make your celebrations sustainable. When everybody does their part, this holiday season — and every holiday season after — can be cleaner, greener, merry and bright.

Here are just a few ways that folks are upping their eco-friendliness this holiday season.

Are you the kind of person who likes to set it and forget it? Then you might be the kind of person who wants to put holiday decorations on a timer, so they’ll turn on and off at the most energy-efficient moments of the day.

Imagine: You come home from a busy day of shopping for gifts and stocking up on eggnog, and just as you’re pulling into the driveway, you see the sun set behind your neighbor’s house. Then, before you even have to think about it — BAM! Your winter wonderland comes to life.

You can extend this automation to the rest of your home, too. Program your regular outdoor lighting to turn on and off when needed, and install/program a smart thermostat to save energy. You can even connect your TV and entertainment systems to a smart home control system to fire up the holiday jams on command!

And if you want to make sure you’re saving as much energy as possible, use energy-efficient LEDs for all your holiday and outdoor lighting.

When you’re signed up for a renewable energy plan, every use of electricity avoids carbon emissions. While this doesn’t mean you should just start using electricity like it’s going out of style — after all, Reduce is the first and most important of the three Rs — you could let it inspire you to find other holiday traditions that you can adapt to avoid using fossil fuels.

Do you usually cook your turkey using a propane-fueled deep fryer? Opt for an electric roaster! Frying up latkes on a gas-powered stove? Try out an air fryer! Love the ambiance of a crackling fire in the house every night? Substitute a virtual fireplace one or two nights a week. And hey, we’ve heard an electric vehicle makes a GREAT stocking stuffer!

The holiday season can generate a lot of waste. Wrapping paper and shopping bags alone are responsible for 80% of the 5 million TONS of holiday waste generated every year. That’s why it’s important to divert as much as possible.

If you have paper left over from last year, use it up before you buy any more; and when you do buy more, make sure it’s made sustainably and support anyone who’s making it locally. If you’ve decided to purchase a live tree for the holidays, make sure it returns to the life cycle after the holidays by either cutting it up for garden mulch or finding a local tree recycling program.

When you’re powered by clean energy, a happy holiday means a happy planet. So however you’re able to celebrate this year, take the time to see how you can make your holiday more sustainable. And when the holidays are over and the new year greets us, you can start it on the path to a cleaner, greener future.