Using renewable energy for Christmas decorations

Sunny South Africa … our weather over the holiday period is perfect for long days by the pool and lazy evenings outside.

Time to save energy. You save energy by not working. How about saving energy with your Christmas decorations too?

Green is one of the traditional Christmas colours, but make this a green Christmas when it comes to electricity usage as well. By using renewable energy sources like solar and wind.

10 Tips to make your Christmas decorations greener

  1. Have the Christmas tree outside. Make this Christmas truly South African by choosing a tree in your garden to decorate, instead of an artificial tree.
  2. Otherwise, support local craftspeople by buying a tree that they have made from recycled materials.
  3. Use LED Christmas lights and decorations with rechargeable solar batteries. They come in a wide variety, including strings of coloured fairly lights, strings of small solar lanterns, waterproof lights in a pod that you can put in a pool or water feature, and LED tea lights that you can pin on your Christmas tree or use inside a paper lantern.

  1. Give your garden or driveway festive illumination with solar lights on spikes.
  2. Use a timer to regulate how long your Christmas lights stay on at night.
  3. Maximise the available light. Use reflective ornaments, glass and mirrors and place each item cleverly to reflect the light that there is. Tinsel glitters in even the faintest light.
  4. Decorate your outdoor Christmas tree with little wind chimes. Their pleasant tinkling will add to the atmosphere and enjoyment. Get ideas for making your own wind chimes on Pinterest and other sites.
  5. Make your own Christmas decorations. Make bows with glittery ribbon, cut shapes out of recycled paper and spray paint them. Collect seed pods or small cypress cones and spray them with paint or glitter.
  6. Instead of expensive candles, make pretty small lanterns. Here’s how: wrap empty glass jars in glittery ribbon or lace. Place a tea light in each, light it with a lit skewer and enjoy the soft light.
  7. Make an impressive garland with penny gum (Eucalyptus cinerea). These trees are common around South Africa. You can also buy the twigs from florist shops; they are not expensive. Simply tie short sections of the twigs together and drape the garland in the garden, over your table or Christmas tree. The elegant grey leaves are long-lasting out of water.

I think the future for solar energy is bright.

 – Ken Salazar

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