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Energy efficient holidays are happy holidays

Tuesday, December 1st 2009 3:37:10pm

Energy efficient holidays are happy holidays

The holidays are just around the corner, and everyday routines will be abandoned for fun with family and friends.

That doesn't mean you have to stop saving energy and money, though.  

Here are some tips from GreenSaver to make your festive season happy and environmentally friendly:

• Use energy efficient holiday lights.  Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are up to 90%more efficient than incandescent bulbs.
You can maximize the money you'll save with your LEDs by using timers. Set your lights to be on for no more than six evening hours a day. Keeping them on 24 hours a day will quadruple your energy costs and create four times the pollution.

• As the temperature continues to fall, keep yourself warm by plugging any air leaks and upgrading your insulation. Ensuring your home is properly sealed with caulking, weather stripping and adequate insulation will keep you comfortable and reduce your heating bill by up to 20%.

• Everyone loves a good fire. When using your fireplace, turn the thermostat in the room down to 15 degrees to save energy, and keep heat loss to a minimum by closing the damper when you're done.

• Holidays can involve a lot of parties and a lot of shopping. Set your programmable thermostat to lower the temperature when you know you'll be gone, and warm it back up just before you return.

• The snow looks lovely, but it still needs to be shoveled. Instead of taking out the snowblower, pay one of the neighbourhood kids to do the work. It's easier on the environment - and your wallet - than a gas-guzzling machine.

• Look for gifts that are powered by the imagination instead of batteries or electricity.

• Frost on your windows may be charming, but it indicates air leakage. You can cover single-pane windows with plastic film to avoid drafts, install storm windows, or upgrade to energy-efficient double-pane windows.    

• Consider the gift of green and purchase GreenSaver gift certificates towards an ecoENERGY assessment.

• Instead of playing video games, or watching 'It's a Charlie Brown Christmas' again, why not read your favorite holiday story? You can even borrow it from the library. You'll save money and energy, and spend some time with your family.

Have a safe, happy and energy efficient holiday!

For further information, please contact:

Allison Wallis, GreenSaver
416.203.3106 ext. 234 OR allison.wallis@greensaver.org

is an independent non-profit corporation dedicated to environmental energy efficiency. They have pioneered Ontario residential energy conservation for 25 years with economically viable and environmentally friendly measures to help individuals and organizations with their energy need (www.greensaver.org).