Light It Down: People should use more environmentally friendly Christmas lights

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Hannah Glazier, Social Media Editor

Despite my jewish faith, I love everything about Christmas. However, this year, one defining characteristic of this special season raises a point of concern for me: Christmas lights.
Last year, I took AP Environmental Science and closely studied the significant amount of nonrenewable energy it takes to power electricity. Preserving Earth’s resources is especially important to me, which leaves me feeling conflicted regarding the tradition of decorating with Christmas lights. It saddens me to hear that in a survey conducted by the price comparison site GoCompare.com, 52 percent of British respondents who intended to display 100 five-watt bulbs for six hours a day would consume an estimated 207 kilowatts per household, which is the equivalent of 22.8 days of the average household electricity consumption.
To be clear, I love the multicolored, twinkling lights that illuminate Carmel, so I refuse to condemn them. However, I do believe it is important for students to take the environmental impact of Christmas lights into consideration and take extra steps towards reducing the environmental footprint Christmas lights leave behind.
To do this, I urge families in Carmel to consider reducing the size of their outdoor lighting displays, but if that is not an option, families should decorate using LED lights. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, widespread use of LED lighting has the greatest potential impact on energy savings in the United States. Compared to traditional holiday light bulbs, LED lights are safer, last longer and are easier to install. As an added bonus, over a 30-day period, lighting 500 traditional holiday lights will cost about $18 while the same number of LED lights costs only $0.19. Taking part in the holiday spirit and saving money, I️ call that a win-win.
The views in this column do not necessarily reflect the views of the HiLite staff. Reach Hannah Glazier at [email protected]

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