The holidays are finally here! For most of us, this means putting up your Christmas lights, watching Hallmark movies, and settling in for the evening with a nice cup of hot chocolate. Unfortunately, warm and cozy home with fun holiday activities often means a big heating bill and a negative impact on the environment. But there are still ways that you and your family can conserve energy around the home this winter. Not only will these tips reduce your environmental footprint, but they will also help you dial down your electricity bill and also teach your kids important life skills about efficiency and responsibility.
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Switch Out Your Christmas Lights With LED Lights
Seeing your neighborhood and living room decked out with Christmas lights is one of the best parts of the holiday season. If you’re the type of family who loves to go all out with the holiday decorations, using environmentally-friendly Christmas lights are a great way to help the environment with little effort. LED lights use less energy to run and last longer than traditional lights. This helps lower both your electricity bill and keeps your holidays as planet-friendly as possible!
Install an Automatic Thermostat
Most people are out of their house for the majority of the day—so why are you wasting energy (and money) heating an empty home all day? Instead of having your heater running 24/7, be more deliberate when you heat your home. Installing an automatic thermostat and setting it to turn off and on at specific times of the day can help you reduce your environmental impact.
Set your thermostat to around 68 degrees for when you’re at home, and then bring it down to around 55 degrees when you go to sleep for when you leave for the day. Since your home will be warmed up by the time you get home, you’ll never even notice the difference.
Wear Warm Sweaters and Clothes Around the House
Cozy sweaters were meant to be worn all the time during the holidays! Not only do fuzzy sweaters look great, but they can also help you and your family save energy this winter. Keeping an extra layer of clothing on while in the house so you can keep your thermostat low while staying just as warm. Even if it’s only a degree or two, you can save money on your electricity bill and lower your environmental impact.
Winter-Proof Your Windows and Doors
Even the sturdiest door may need some extra help come winter to keep the cold air out. Cracks around your window frames and door frames will let cold air into your home, causing your bills to rise and your home to use more energy than needed. Keep both to a minimum by sealing those air leaks.
Make winterizing your home a family event by getting your kids to help you seal those cracks. Placing caulk can get a bit messy for small children, but having your children help install weatherstripping will teach them important home improvement skills and teach them about energy conservation.
Sit Down With Your Kids And Have “The Talk”
No, not that talk. The talk about how we all have a responsibility to take care of the planet. The holidays are the perfect time to teach your kids how to help the environment by having proper energy practice. Teach your kids about energy use, pollution, and carbon footprint while doing fun holiday activities like decorating the tree or baking cookies to leave out for Santa.
It might be a little difficult to get them to understand why it’s important (especially since they don’t have to pay their own bills yet). But instilling respect and responsibility for the planet at a young age will help them make good environmental choices throughout their lives. Just because they’re kids doesn’t mean their energy habits don’t impact the environment! It’s also good for kids to start learning about money and budgeting from a young age.
Make Energy Conservation A Family Game
Saving energy and lowering your environmental impact may not be the first thing your kids think about when they wake up in the morning. Make saving the planet part of your family’s daily routine by making it a game! Little tasks like turning off the lights when you leave a room or powering down devices when you’re not using them can all count as points—and whoever has the most points at the end of the day wins a small prize. Eventually, these tasks will become family habits, and your entire family will become more energy-conscious!
Even though these little changes in your home may not seem planet-saving, it’s important to do your part in limiting your environmental impact. Making these energy conservation changes around the house will, of course, help you save money on your electricity bill. But it will also help the environment and instill earth-saving habits into your children that will follow them throughout their lives.
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