Buy a Cow For Christmas, and Other Tips for Doing the Holidays SmarterStudio@Gawker, December 1, 2014
This year, stop trying to fend off the holiday beast by throwing money into its gaping maw, and get smart about the way you tackle the season. A few simple solutions can cut down your bill, make your life simpler, and pull you out from under the annual avalanche of wrapping paper and tinsel.
Save Energy (and Money) While You’re Home or Away
- There are tons of affordable, smart gadgets available to help you conserve energy and cut the cost of your electricity and gas bills year-round. For example, the adapts to your lifestyle by picking up on your heating (and cooling) habits and creating a schedule around yours. Teach it well, and it can lower your heating and cooling bills by up to 20%. You can even control your heat through the Nest app on your smartphone – so you can always make sure the house is nice and cozy when you come in from the cold of winter.
- Twinkle with the best of ’em: switch to LED lights instead of incandescent lights for decorating your home and tree. They’re more energy efficient and will last longer.
- If you’re the type who will never remember to unplug your lights every time you go to sleep or leave the house, set them on a timer so they’re always on when you’re drinking your eggnog but turn themselves off when there’s no one around to bask in the Christmasy glow.
- While cutting down a tree might not feel “green,” real Christmas trees are actually more sustainable than artificial trees, especially because people tend to discard plastic trees far more often than they expect to. You may think you’re saving a tree by going artificial, but artificial trees consume major resources to manufacture, and they look terrible when they wind up in the landfill.
- According to EnergyQuest.ca.gov, 40% of all batteries are purchased during the holiday season. Try to shop for gifts that don’t require toxic batteries that will just end up in a landfill — especially when it comes to the kids on your list.