5 Festive sustainability hacks

Christmas Light

5 festive hacks for more sustainable Christmas decorating

‘Tis the season of candy canes, fairy lights and oversized novelty reindeer! From Instagram to in-store displays, it’s easy to find inspiration to create an amazing lights display. Here are some tips to help you explore sustainable options as you decorate your home this year.

1. Work with what you have

When you’re planning your Christmas lights display, try to work with what you have already. For example, rather than buy a plastic tree to add to your display, look around your garden and see what you could use. Strings of lights added to your trees and shrubs can look amazing – just make sure they’re outdoor lights and safe to use on your greenery.  We recommend contacting the manufacturer of the lights as to access their suitability to be used outdoors.

2. Try solar lights

When it is time to replace any sets of lights that aren’t working, consider the solar alternatives. Most Christmas light retailers will have solar-powered options available. Living in one of the world’s sunniest places means there are plenty of daylight hours for your solar lights to charge before the sun goes down. A top tip for solar lights is positioning the charging panels in an area that catches the most direct sunlight throughout the day.

3. Consider using a timer

Solar lights can fade out naturally, but if you have plug-in lights you are able to control how long they are turned on for, and therefore control how much electricity they consume. Rather than leave your lights on all night, you could set up a timer to switch them off at a certain time each night.

4. Light up on a schedule

You might find that your lights attract more visitors on the weekends or certain nights of the week.  This can depend on a variety of factors including your location. If you find that this is the case, a more sustainable choice might be to plan ahead for the most popular nights. For example, you might switch your lights on only on weekends throughout the early weeks of December and then switch to every night in the week before Christmas. You can advise visitors of your “switch on” nights and times through your Xmas Lights Trail decorator profile.

5. Invest in good quality decorations

If you choose to buy any new decorations this year, try to choose the most energy-efficient lights and long-lasting options. Investing in better quality products means that you may be able to use them for years to come. Cheaper lights might cost you less initially, but they might use more electricity than other more sustainable options. Consider the cost of the lights along with how much energy they will use. LED lights use about 75% less energy than halogen light bulbs^ so if you buy any new decorations this year, try to choose the most energy-efficient. 
^Source: energy.gov.au
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