Submitted by Cape Coral resident Jessie Delaplane, Delaplane Insurance
The holidays just would not be the same without festive lights, but why not save both money and energy this season?
LED light strings are more energy-efficient, using only about 20% of the electricity required for standard ones and lasting years longer. Or consider setting a timer for the holiday lights and decorations so they run for 30 or 60 minutes less each day.
These energy savings will add up quickly.
Recycle Your Tree
When the lights and ornaments are packed away until next year, if you bought a live Christmas tree this year be sure to recycle it. Trees can be used for mulch and to help prevent sand erosion on beaches.
If there is not a Christmas tree recycling program in your community, visit earth911.com to find the nearest recycling center.
Serving Holiday Guests
Are the holidays your favorite time of year to cook and bake
Keep in mind when shopping for holiday gatherings that although plastic plates and utensils may look festive, they are generally not recyclable. Whenever possible, use real dishes and utensils instead of throwaways.
And go ahead, run your dishwasher. It actually uses less water than hand-washing dishes.
Plastic shopping bags are harmful to the environment, so consider using eco-friendly bags not only at the holidays but all year long.
Recycle bags are available at most retailers for under $1, come in many sizes and colors, and last for years.