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Question of the Week: What are you doing to use less energy during this holiday season?

2009 December 7

At this time of year we travel more to visit friends and family or take more shopping trips. We also decorate with extra lights and turn up the heat to ward off the early winter chill.  Share how you conserve energy.

What are you doing to use less energy during this holiday season?

Each week we ask a question related to the environment. Please let us know your thoughts as comments. Feel free to respond to earlier comments or post new ideas. Previous questions.

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68 Responses leave one →
  1. Uva_Be permalink
    December 7, 2009

    Real dishes, mugs & napkins. Recycling packaging materials, and telecommute er? video chat gatherings with far away loved ones.

  2. armansyahardanis permalink
    December 7, 2009

    Here, different. Sometimes, it is bright and the other times dark ! Naturally, we have wasteful energy, but in fact our cities less electricity. Government says investment limited.

    We just to say : ” Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2010 !!!!!!! “

  3. Heidi permalink
    December 7, 2009

    I carpooled with several neighbors to go to the mall to do our Christmas shopping. I also have the programmable thermostat set to keep the house at 64 at night and 69 during the day. I also convinced several friends to switch to LED lights for their indoor and outdoor seasonal lights.

  4. Brenda permalink
    December 7, 2009

    I bought LED lights for my outside decorating this year and put them on timers. While I wouldn’t describe our weather as early winter “chill” here in the Rockies, my programmable thermostat does help by only heating my house during occupied hours.

  5. Ron O. permalink
    December 7, 2009

    I will be doing a lot more online shopping, rather than drive from store to store.

  6. December 7, 2009

    I’m not traveling. Xmas is a minimalist holiday for me so I will not be doing any extra shopping, either in person or on-line. I also do not put up a tree or use lights on my house so I will be conserving energy in that fashion. To stay warm, I will shovel snow when needed and put on a sweater and blankets while in the house.

  7. December 7, 2009

    We’ve changed over to all LED light’s this year, for the inside and outside of our home. Some stores are offering a “trade-in” on old light’s and giving you a discounts when you buy new LED’s….

  8. Brad permalink
    December 7, 2009

    I am not doing any exterior lights this year, usually do an extensive display. Being “Green” has an additional benefit, I don’t have to put the lights up and take them down.

  9. Sharon Goddard permalink
    December 7, 2009

    Environmental protection means all aspects of health and welfare for human beings and the planet. Not just the ones that aren’t being lobbied against!

  10. Efrain Freytes permalink
    December 7, 2009

    Instead of leaving the timers on my lights dusk to dawn, I’m setting time off for either 4 or 6 hours per night.

  11. smith permalink
    December 7, 2009

    I intend to save my fuel efficient cars in the garage this winter and happily drive my winter-safe 1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee 5.0L V8 to all of my shopping locations.

    When I get home, I intend to have a 45 minute long hot shower, followed by a cup of hot chocolate in my kitchen that is lighted by 100W incandescent bulbs.

    Merry Christmas.

  12. Carman permalink
    December 7, 2009

    Probably will not decorate much in order to save money now to compensate for the future increases in electricity due to cap and trade.

  13. Jackenson Durand permalink
    December 7, 2009

    I conceive Energy utilization has a life routine in daily basis. This would explain that I will be saving energy for this holiday as all precedent holidays and years.
    This would enter in an analytic challenge by:
    - Keeping empty room lights off.
    - Avoid ironing inutility clothes, underwear or bed clothing’s.
    - Turn home heat off while out or at work, helping to avoid fire as well.
    - It is better to use green bulb CFL Spiral 11 Watts.

    Note: all that would enter in good individual life accounting and right attitude. That is in the same idea, everyone would know to “Go Green”.

  14. Gail permalink
    December 7, 2009

    I too am not decorating as much this year and using mostly LED lights. I have them on timers and coordinate my programmable thermostat go on mostly during off peak times. In Phoenix, I only had to start turning on the heater last week. Happy Holidays!!!

  15. Al Bannet permalink
    December 7, 2009

    I always stay indoors for the holidays and volunteer to help my retirement home neighbors set up the dining room for their seasonal parties, which I cannot attend because I’m alergic to the refined sugar all the treats are made with, and if I eat one, I want more. So, I am content to be in reasonably good vegetarian health watching TV, reading, going for short walks and working out with my equipment – and posting for peace and balance.

  16. Nexyoo permalink
    December 7, 2009

    I’m keeping the thermostat down, enjoying local activities instead of traveling, and eating vegetarian.

  17. Lee permalink
    December 7, 2009

    I focus on the biggest things first – ride my bike to work instead of driving (free exercise)(using studded tires), use a programmable thermostat, wear a fleece and keep the temperature low, have insulating shades in windows, wrap gifts in reusable materials or newspaper, and buy only items that can be used for the long-term.

  18. Maurizio permalink
    December 7, 2009

    Nothing, The E.P.A. is the PROBLEM

  19. Dr. Spacemen permalink
    December 7, 2009

    DECORATIONS: This year we were able to avoid purchasing brand new decorations for the home. We were able to reuse a relatives old decorations since they have moved into a smaller condo. Craigs List is also a good website to purchase used decorations, avoiding the purchase of new ones, creating more waste, etc, etc…

    If you are looking to purchase new lights, LED ones are a good solution and will last longer than standard bulbs.

    SHOPPING: I’ve avoided the hustle and bustle of busy stores and roads by doing all of my shopping online. I save time and money by eliminating many trips to the mall.

    If you do choose to go out to the stores, take an extra look at those gifts with bulky packaging. The less packaging the less waste!!

    WRAPPING GIFTS: A good habit to get into is to lessen the amount of waste when wrapping your gifts. Personally my family is lovely enough to deal with my newspaper wrapping paper. You can also look around for anything that would normally be thrown out and use it to wrap gifts. Get creative!! Old bed sheets, magazines, old clothes, etc…

    Another good investment would be to use gift bags that can be reused for years to come.

    ECO-FRIENDLY DONATIONS: If you can’t find the perfect gift for a family member or friend, look at eco-friendly organizations for gift ideas in the form of donations. Sometimes you could ‘adopt’ an animal that is on the endangered species list. The WWF or World Wildlife Fund has many good gift ideas. (www.worldwildlife.org)

  20. Pablo Tigre permalink
    December 7, 2009

    Giving people light emitting diode (LED) light fixtures as presents.

  21. clyde Swaim permalink
    December 7, 2009

    only put up xmas dec. that does noe use elect.

  22. clyde Swaim permalink
    December 7, 2009

    we only put up xmas decoration that does not use electric

  23. edgardo berraz permalink
    December 7, 2009

    I think that the best way to save energy is diminishing the parties about Christmas and new year,maybe only one party to celebrate both holidays can reunite together all the relatives and friends,saving almost one half of energy waste and better the relationship of all,because more than one fete always finish in a dispute.

  24. Samara permalink
    December 7, 2009

    This year my family is doing a “give nothing new” Christmas, where all of our gifts or either handmade (we decided buying new materials is ok) or second hand. The same goes for Christmas decorations.

    We are supplementing our gift bags and gift boxes with cloth wrapping as well, out of cloth picked up at local thrift stores.

    We decided to wait on getting LED christmas lights until the ones we currently have stop working – the energy savings isn’t enough to justify getting rid of lights that work just fine and will need replaced within a few years anyway.

    Of course we are still doing our usual power savings techniques, turning things off that aren’t in use, turn down the thermostat, etc. This winter our new power savings techniques are a clothes line in the basement for line drying some of our clothes and moving the power strip for the TV into a more accessible location so that it can be turned off entirely when not in use.

  25. Gustavo Rosario permalink
    December 7, 2009

    To reduce energy consumption we only plug-in Christmas lights on weekends if is necessary.

  26. Thomas permalink
    December 7, 2009

    I leave all my lights on for the enjoyment of the passing cars. Drive my car as often as I like and plan on traveling about 2,000 miles in my personal car over the Christmas and New Years Holidays with about an additional 1200 miles to be driven at work, prior to leaving on vacation. I am doing all I can to see that we have enough carbon to help keep the trees and grass green, so they in turn can produce oxygen for the rest of you to breath.

  27. Gary Schwendiman permalink
    December 7, 2009

    I submitted my comment but I don’t see it published. Are you censoring anyone who opposes your views?

    Please let me know….garygetsmail@hotmail.com

    I dare you to post this.

    Gary Schwendiman, Ph.D.

  28. Gary Schwendiman permalink
    December 7, 2009

    What does moderation mean? Does it mean you are changing it or censoring it? Just like the scientists who hid comments that were opposed to their views on “global warming”?

    Why are you afraid to publish information opposed to your views?

    Gary Schwendiman, Ph.D. garygetsmail@hotmail.com

  29. Anonymous permalink
    December 7, 2009

    AMEN TO THAT

  30. Jim Adcock permalink
    December 7, 2009

    1) NOT flying to Hawaii for the holidays! 2) Running LED Xmas lights on a photocell timer to cut down electricity used literally by about a factor of 30X. 3) NOT driving to the mall, but rather shopping the internet and having presents delivered by delivery truck. It may not be obvious, but having a delivery truck drive 50 feet between household stops is a lot more efficient than driving a SUV 5 miles only to get stuck in mall traffic! 4) ASKING people what they want for Xmas! Giving people gifts they didn’t want represents a 100% total waste of time, energy and money!

  31. Jose Jackson permalink
    December 8, 2009

    I chop down trees and burn them in my fireplace instead of using natural gas. Cause natural gas is from the oil and gas industry and we know them to be bad. Also I use paper plates and plastic forks to eat with then burn them as well. This saves on water and do not use water heater to wash dishes. We also go the Y to take showers in the morning. We drive our SUV to the Y and unload the kids and wife and we shower there. We also are not buying presents because most items come from China and they be bad as well this also helps us save money. And since money, we are told is bad we burn that as well.

  32. Jose Jackson permalink
    December 8, 2009

    a person after my own heart. I bake cookies all day in my electric oven and then pack them in plastic decorative packages and drive my SUV to my friends house where we make HOT TODDIES on their gas burning stove, shoot animals off the back porch, bar-b-que them via burning trees in the firepit while adoring the multitude of 1960′s lights which decorate the house and can be seen from space.

  33. Don Olson permalink
    December 8, 2009

    BY NOT TAKING ANY FLIGHTS.

  34. Tammy permalink
    December 8, 2009

    LED lights everywhere. why do people leave their lights on all night long? who sees them at 2 AM anyway? Our lights go out when we go to bed. going to recycle all the wrapping paper, afterall, it is paper.

  35. Colorado Springs Utilities permalink
    December 8, 2009

    At Colorado Springs Utilities, we’re encouraging customers to use LED lighting to display their holiday spirit. In addition to basic education, we’re offering LED discounts at local retailers so that customers can see instant savings when they purchase them. Check out this awesome video on our YouTube channel. It’s all about saving money and energy with LEDs.

    http://www.youtube.com/user/SpringsUtilities#p/u/0/Bkh12BzIU-o

  36. Anonymous permalink
    December 8, 2009

    jj
    There seems to be censoring going on here. My answer was that I would turn off my tv when Obama was on, why can this not be posted?. It would save a lot of electricity since his appearance is a daily phenomenon.
    Merry Christmas

  37. December 8, 2009

    you are lucky to get posted…They do censor these answers…

  38. December 8, 2009

    instead of a christmas tree with lights, we look at a picture of obama.

  39. Camburn Shephard permalink
    December 8, 2009

    I am reading editorials like this that make me so hot that I can turn down the thermostat. Even tho we are running 30F below seasonal norms

  40. Michael E. Bailey permalink
    December 8, 2009

    I don’t plan on having lights this year. I am recycling paper from last year and don’t plan to do much traveling. I’m also lowering the thermastat on the heater and wearing a sweater inside. Best wishes, Michael E. Bailey.

  41. Jeffrey Levy permalink*
    December 9, 2009

    Thanks for participating in the discussion. We welcome all viewpoints.

    Please review the comment policy. As long as you avoid the problems listed there, we will post your comment. If there is some specific comment you’ve made that wasn’t posted, please enter it again and specifically ask my staff to alert me in the comment, and I’ll look at it myself.

    The comment policy is at http://blog.epa.gov/blog/comment-policy

    Jeffrey Levy
    Director of Web Communications

  42. Jeffrey Levy permalink*
    December 9, 2009

    Thanks for participating in the discussion. We welcome all viewpoints.

    Please review the comment policy. As long as you avoid the problems listed there, we will post your comment. If there is some specific comment you’ve made that wasn’t posted, please enter it again and specifically ask my staff to alert me in the comment, and I’ll look at it myself.

    The comment policy is at http://blog.epa.gov/blog/comment-policy

    Jeffrey Levy
    Director of Web Communications

  43. Jeffrey Levy permalink*
    December 9, 2009

    Thanks for participating in the discussion. We welcome all viewpoints.

    Please see my responses to concerns about censorship further down the page. As long as you stay within the minimal requirements laid out in the comment policy, we will post your comment.

    You can find the policy at http://blog.epa.gov/blog/comment-policy

    Jeffrey Levy
    Director of Web Communications

  44. sharon permalink
    December 9, 2009

    We are using the smaller lights and less of them.

  45. Al Bannet permalink
    December 10, 2009

    While you turn off the left-of-center politicians, I turn off those to the right of center, so together we save quite a lot of energy.

  46. jackson permalink
    December 10, 2009

    Well, there’s a six year old running around the house so we have the lights up, but only for a few hours each night. It’s hard to convince a 6 year old that bright shinny lights running 24 hours a day is bad.

  47. Jimmy MCurry permalink
    December 10, 2009

    Great Ideas! I am going to see if my daughter will let me borrow her 2003 Chevy- one ton with the 8.0 liter (that’s 496 cubic inches) to go Christmas shopping in. This baby will pass anything on the road except a gas station!

  48. Jimmy MCurry permalink
    December 10, 2009

    Hey guess what? Humans need Carbon Dioxide too. In emergency medicine it is necessary to keep the Carbon Dioxide to oxygen balance correct in your lungs. If you get more oxygen than you need in your lungs it can affect the ph of your blood. (for all of you that flunked science, ph is the concentration of the hydronium ion in a solution) People that get excited and over-ventilate usually breath in a bag to bring the carbon dioxide level back up in their blood to stop the panic attack.

  49. Jimmy MCurry permalink
    December 10, 2009

    Just because China uses lead in their paint is no reason not to buy their toys. They have to make a living too!!!

  50. Jimmy MCurry permalink
    December 10, 2009

    Hey, I’ll turn off the center!!! In fact we have not had TV in our house in over 16 years. My wife turned it off when my oldest boy would not do his homework. We have over 2,000 books and my second son was valedictorian of his class. My daughter which is a junior in High School has just scored in the 92 percentile on the Pre-SAT. They are both well balanced and believe in investigating and finding the truth instead of just accepting what is presented by the news media, schools and governmental agencies. My daughter has earned a work study with the Natural Resource Conservation Service while in High School and my son is about to start his Master’s Degree Work in Ruminant Nutrition. (That’s animals with 4 stomachs such as deer, mountain goats, and cattle) I guess not having a working TV is not so bad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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