We’re Dreaming of a GREEN Christmas!

Christmas doesn’t have to be a burden on the environment. With a little effort and imagination, we can reduce the environmental impact of the holiday season!

  1. Save energy by skipping on the lights altogether or by picking up efficient LED bulbs instead. Go one better and try a laser projection system with only 3 Watt Power Consumption! LED (Light Emitting Diode) holiday lights use up to 95% less energy than larger, traditional holiday bulbs and last up to 100,000 hours when used indoors. LED holiday lights use .04 watts per bulb, 10 times less than mini bulbs and 100 times less than traditional holiday bulbs. Over a 30-day period, lighting 500 traditional holiday lights will cost you about $18.00 while the same number of LED lights costs only $0.19. As an added bonus, if one of the LED lights burns out the rest of the strand will stay lit.
  2. Turn off tree lights and outdoor house decorative lighting at bedtime. Not only will you save energy but you greatly reduce the risk of a fire.  This can be automated with the user of timers that can be located at any hardware store.
  3. Skip sending a Holiday Card this season and go digital.  There are a number of free emailing services that will help you create, customize and email a card this season.  You can even email digital gift cards and services!
  4. Use environmentally friendly wrapping paper and recycle your bags, boxes and paper.  Choose wrapping paper made using fibers such as hemp, or paper using recycled content. Any non-glossy paper wrapping can be shredded for the compost or added to the recycling bins. Be sure to keep the bows and ribbons for multiple uses, as well as tissue paper, gift bags and boxes. Also, packaging from beverages or food containers should be rinsed and recycled as well.

Mr. Larry Clark of HPAC Magazine took an interesting stab at rewriting the wonderful Bing Crosby classic “White Christmas.”  It may not be the catchiest song in the world but we sure do love green buildings and lifestyle!

I’m dreaming of a green Christmas
Unlike the ones we’ve had before
Where the carbon’s lower and shopping’s slower
As we walk or bike to the store

I’m dreaming of a green Christmas
With every BTU we clean
Make lower energy use routine
And may all your Christmases be green

I’m dreaming of a green Christmas
Let’s do our part for climate change
Think recycle and be more resourceful
Let’s think green as we arrange

I’m dreaming of a green Christmas
With every BTU we clean
Make lower energy use routine
And may all your Christmases be green

Here’s some real holiday cheer: Last week, Congress reauthorized the Energy Efficient Commercial Building tax deduction included in Internal Revenue Code §179D and commonly referred to simply as 179D. It has been extended retroactively to Jan. 1, 2015, and is effective through Dec. 31, 2016. The most significant change to the provisions was the update of referenced ANSI/ASHRAE/IES 90.1, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, from the 2001 version to the 2007 version for projects completed in 2016.

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