Slideshow Iconslideshows MORE

|

5 Tips for a Greener Christmas

4 of 6
ChristmasLights

Rethink Lights and Decorations


Christmas lights -- both indoors and out -- are an obvious and huge drain on energy resources. If it just isn't the holiday for you without lights on the house, in the yard, and on the tree, at least use bulbs with low wattage. The rule of thumb is this: the smaller the bulb, the lower the wattage. Not only do low-watt bulbs consume less energy; they also give off less heat, making them safer. Look for outdoor light strands that are wired in parallel; their separate circuitry means that if that if one bulb burns out, the rest will keep shining, and you only have to replace one bulb. Strands with series wiring go entirely dark if one bulb fails, making it almost impossible to find which bulb is bad.

New in the holiday lighting department this year are LEDs, or light-emitting diodes. LEDs incorporate the same computer-chip technology used to light calculators and watches, and they are 90 percent more efficient than traditional Christmas lights. They also release very little heat, and they last about 200,000 hours. One U.S. Department of Energy study showed that two billion kilowatt-hours of electricity could be saved in a month, if everyone replaced their conventional holiday light strings -- enough energy to power 200,000 homes for a year!

You and the kids can make your own Christmas tree ornaments out of things you already have around the house, or from materials found in nature -- such as pinecones, twigs, stones, etc. You can have fun making ornaments from macaroni, flour and salt clay, and no-bake dough. Don't forget the traditional popcorn and cranberry garland. Those holiday cards can also be put to use as decoration -- try an easy-to-make hanging card holder.

NexT: Keep Your Christmas Tree Green

highlights

Teens and E-Cigarettes: 6 Things You Must Know
For the first time in a generation, tobacco use has risen among the nation's youth, due to the rising use of e-cigarettes. Learn more about the dangerous and addictive e-cigarette trend, and get tips to talk to your teen.

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, brought to you by Galactic Hot Dogs.

Printable Lists of the Top 100 Baby Names
Need help with baby name ideas? Use our printable list of the top 100 girl names and top 100 boy names of 2015 to help you brainstorm and narrow down your favorites.

Registered for Kindergarten — Now What?
Wondering what to do now that you've signed your child up for kindergarten? Try our award-winning Kindergarten Readiness app! This easy-to-use checklist comes with games and activities to help your child build essential skills for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Facebook icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks