There's nothing quite like Christmas in the Philippines! With our absurdly scrumptious feasts, cozy moments with the family and parties filled with happiness and tradition, the holidays are truly the most wonderful time of the year. That is, until the bills come around.
Not to worry: it's definitely possible to practice energy efficiency without putting a damper on your holiday spirit. Check out these energy saving tips that would make both Mother Earth and your wallet happy.
Turn off all Christmas lights and other electricity-powered décor off before you go to sleep.
Yes, a house aglow with Christmas lights look especially pretty in the evening time, but there's really no need to keep them on all night — nobody will be awake to admire them anyway! Up your energy efficiency by turning them off at night before you go to sleep. Set an alarm if you must! Or, if you're one of those "smart home" owners, set the lights to turn on when it gets dark and then turn off at around midnight.
Look for Christmas lights and parols that use LED lighting.
If you're like most Filipino families, you'd probably have parols or lights that have been in the family for generations. Unfortunately, those old light-up decorations are usually less energy efficient than the ones available in the market today. LED lighting, which uses 70% less energy and emits brighter light with less heat, is an amazing power saver that gets the job done and is more durable to boot.
Use shiny and bright décor instead of lights.
Get creative! Tinsel, silver bells, gold stars, glittery wreaths and shiny ribbons offer the same festive feel as power-hungry lights. You could even use an energy efficiency technique called reflective decorating, where you use half or even less the amount of Christmas lights you normally use, then position some reflective décor where it can reflect the lights. The same technique can be applied outdoors if you have neighbors with particularly ostentatious displays of light and are like:
Enjoy the cool weather — minimize air conditioning.
Energy efficiency often means being aware of how you can make do with what you already have. During Christmas season, what we have (and love) is the cool weather. Savor it! The air conditioning can wait until summer. If you really must cool off on one of those humid afternoons, use the electric fan instead, or open your windows to let air in.
Observe energy conservation when doing your holiday cooking.
Cook food in a one-time big batch, and cook similarly-prepared ingredients together if possible. For example, roast vegetables along with the chicken. When defrosting, use room temperature or your fridge instead of the defrost setting on your microwave or oven. It just takes a bit of foresight and scheduling, as this method takes a lot longer, but it's more energy efficient. Also, did you know that microwaving is the most energy-efficient cooking method? So choose the microwave over the oven or stove to reheat your prepped food pre-dinner or your leftovers.
Read a book or play board games in between watching TV or using your gadgets.
This Christmas, unplug yourself from the online world! Read a book instead of your friends' updates on social media. Take a break from work and switch off your laptop — spend this precious time with your family and earn energy efficiency points at the same time. While watching Christmas movies is a fun way to bond, board games or card games can be more exciting alternative.
Celebrate the holidays in the outdoors.
If you have a yard and the weather is just right, take advantage of it! Have your Noche Buena or Christmas Day lunch outdoors. If there’s a park nearby, that’s also a good venue (in the daytime, of course). You can even host barbecues or picnics to avoid higher than usual electricity bills from all the unmonitored activity inside the house during parties.
Energy efficiency in the holidays is just one way to live a more financially responsible life. Use GoBear to find and compare the best credit cards and loans for your budget.