The holiday season is fantastic. They can, however, be a bit, well, energy-draining, just like their eccentric ancestors. The holidays are a time when families and friends come together to celebrate. But they can also be a time of waste and excess. It’s that time of year again for decking the halls, indulging in delectable goodies, and gathering with family and friends to celebrate. It’s also a period when energy use tends to rise, putting a strain on your wallet and the environment. You don’t have to become a Scrooge to save energy during the holidays. By adopting some basic things, you can have energy-efficient holidays without harming the environment and decrease your energy bill.
Some simple ways to become energy efficient during holidays:
- Use caution when baking: You can expect a lot of cooking and baking throughout the holidays because they were made for beautiful eats. If you want to cut down on your energy usage, the kitchen is a fantastic place to start. Baking is more significant amounts is a good idea. Because you’re only heating the oven once, this can help you utilize it more efficiently. So, one weekend, invite your friends over for a baking party. Also, avoid using foil to line oven-safe dishes, and it prevents heat from circulating efficiently, causing your food to cook inefficiently. Instead, use a nonstick frying spray.
Do you want to cook on the stove? To cook your food faster and more efficiently, match the size of your pot to the heating element and cover. Your oven is most certainly stuffed with turkey and all the fixings! Use the microwave to reheat any dishes that need to be warmed before serving. It’s more energy-efficient, but it also prevents you from constantly opening the oven and letting the heat escape!
- LEDs should be embraced: It’s time to modernize if you’re still using decorative lights from the 1980s. Even if you’re the kind to go overboard with lighting, switching to LEDs will save you money. Look for LED outdoor lights, which use 75% less energy than non-LEDs and are also more attractive. You can even adorn it with smart lighting. Smart bulbs can be controlled with your smartphone and can help you create any desired atmosphere. You’ll save electricity as a bonus if you use them all year. Traditional incandescent Christmas lights are brighter, last longer, and use less electricity than LED Christmas lights. Although LED lights are more expensive than incandescent lights, the benefits outweigh the cost difference.
- Allow a smart thermostat to do the job for you: Over the holidays, will you see everyone and their grandmother? It’s time to make the switch to a smart thermostat. It will learn your schedule and make adjustments when you are not present, allowing you to save more energy when travelling. Plus, if you’re visiting family and notice the temperature rising, your smart thermostat will notice as well, allowing you to ensure that the turkey is the only thing roasting. Consumers can save more than 15% on energy expenditures by upgrading to a modern thermostat (and programming it to lower the temperature at particular times of the day during the winter).
- Look for products with the ENERGY STAR® label: The holidays are about family, but they may also be about gift buying (and preparing for significant Boxing Day bargains)! If you’re thinking about replacing your appliances or devices, search for products that are ENERGY STAR® certified. An ENERGY STAR® TV, for example, uses 27% less energy than a non-certified one.
- Shop efficiently: Look for ENERGY STAR marking on large appliances and devices if they’re on your purchasing list. Non-ENERGY STAR-certified electronics use up to 60% less energy than ENERGY STAR-certified electronics. Be a knowledgeable buyer when it comes to energy. A wise shopper will find the best discounts, but an environmentally conscious shopper will preserve energy and waste. Reduce your carbon footprint by shopping online, carpooling, taking public transportation, and avoiding multiple journeys to the store. Give gifts that are eco-friendly, recyclable, or produced from natural materials. Invest in rechargeable batteries and chargers to save waste – these things make excellent stocking stuffers, especially if you’re giving gifts that require batteries.
- Efficiency while travelling: Be on the lookout for “Energy Grinches.” Like the Grinch stole Christmas, many technologies, like TVs, DVD players, gaming consoles, and laptops, “take” energy when they are plugged in but not in use. Phantom energy loads are another name for this (or energy vampires). Remember to unplug these devices before going to Grandma’s house for the holidays to save money on electricity expenditures. Following these suggestions will help you save energy and prevent the post-holiday shock of a high energy bill the following month.
- Efficient cooking: When you keep the lids on pots, and the oven door closed while cooking, your food will cook faster and with less energy. To avoid overcooking, set a timer and check the meal’s progress in the oven using the oven light. Because it takes the same amount of energy to heat a nearly-empty oven as it does to heat a full one, make the most of your energy by heating or baking many dishes at once whenever possible. For temporary jobs, use compact kitchen appliances. Consider using the microwave or toaster oven for little jobs like melting chocolate for dipping and warming leftovers instead of the oven for extensive cooking activities like roasting a turkey. Using a microwave instead of an oven can save time and money.
- Avoid unnecessary lighting: Decorate without the use of lights. Instead of Christmas lights, use reflective ornaments, candles, ribbons, and garland to decorate. Battery-operated candles are a far safer alternative to conventional candles, and they still give off a lovely festive glow without increasing your electric bill. Ribbon, garland, and shiny decorations can be utilized to adorn stairwells, entryways, mantels, and other house areas. Turn off the lights in the room. Use the lights on your Christmas tree to light the room and turn off the light fixtures to set the holiday mood and save energy (e.g., lamps, ceiling lights). Light your fireplace if you have one. The flames’ flashing brilliance can provide ample lighting while warming the room. Remember to close the flue when the fireplace isn’t in use to prevent heat from escaping up the chimney.
To wrap it all up
This year is all about unwinding and spending quality time with family and friends. If you remember to turn off lights and unplug electronics you’re not using, gathering everyone in one room can help you save energy throughout the house. After all, the holidays are supposed to be about unwinding with as little effort as possible.