We’ve handed the blog over to our students today! Jacques talks us through some hard truths about the environmental impact of Christmas time, but also provides us with some simple solutions to the problem! If you or your team would like to contribute to the blog, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Christmas and lights go hand in hand, not least because it gets dark so blooming quickly in December! Every year millions of us take to our trees with strings of flashing lights, and for some this does not stop here, where the festive spirit also often spills outside of our houses. The Christmas addicts among us all agree this is a wonderful tradition- what better way to boast your love for the festive period than to illuminate your front garden with life-size replicas of an illuminated Santa Clause, his sleigh, and full pack of reindeer?
It is, however, quite easy to forget about the extra impacts our celebrations are having on our planet. Did you know that the amount of CO2 used to fuel our Christmas lighting displays are enough to fill almost 16, 000 hot air balloons (Energy Saving Trust)? Or, that illuminating the outside of our house could cost up to £100 in electricity over the festive period (Energy Saving Trust)?
No one wants to be a Scrooge, and I am certainly not telling you to be one. By all means, embrace Christmas and everything that goes with it. But, maybe during all our fun we could take a few steps to try and minimise our energy usage, or even try and offset it.
One easy option you could take is to invest in a timer. This will ensure that you are being more responsible with your electricity usage; so, when you fall asleep on the sofa to Hugh Grant falling in and out of love on tele your tree isn’t flashing all night. You could also make a conscious effort to actively turn off any extra lighting or appliances which are not being used.
Alternatively, although maybe too late for this time around, you should invest in some good quality LED Christmas lights for next year, rather than using standard incandescent bulbs. The world-famous Christmas displays across the world, including the New York Rockerfeller Plaza tree and the Oxford and Regent Street lights, have already made the switch! These lights are brighter, cheaper to run, and only use 10% of the power. They are also inexpensive to buy, and will reduce the risk of fire in our homes which is heightened during this time of year.
Whatever and however you choose to reduce your environmental impact this Christmas, please do try.
Happy holidays from the Green Impact team!