The Yuletide breeze is stirring our senses afresh, while the radiance of fairy lights all over the city prompts us to sing our favorite Christmas carols at the top of our lungs. The atmosphere is set for exchanging gifts and sweet messages to our dearest love ones, and gathering around the table to munch on that mouth-watering Noche Buena feast.

This is the Christmas I grew up loving, and taking out even a tiny part of it will surely extinguish my holiday spirit altogether. But when I thought about how much more energy we all consume during the holidays, I figured that maybe making some slight changes wouldn’t hurt; if anything, I may even find it fulfilling.

Join me as I try these tips for an energy-efficient Christmas:

- Use energy-efficient LED Christmas lights. They may be a little more expensive than incandescent lights but they definitely consume less energy. Plus, they last longer too. That means you get to keep your Christmas lights for more Christmas seasons, giving you more savings in the long run. You also reduce the amount of waste to be disposed, another step in being more environment-friendly.

- Combine your Christmas lights with a timer. With it you can control how long your lights stay on and turn them off when you’re not home.

- Utilize extension cords instead of light strings to add length to your display.

- In preparing appetizing dishes for Noche Buena, never put small pans on large heating elements (on electric stove) or big burners (in gas stoves). Flame or heat that exceeds the diameter of the pan is lost in the air, thus wasting more energy.

- Are you ready for Simbang Gabi? Before going to the church, iron your clothes during off-peak hours (before 9AM and after 9PM). This helps lessen the demand for electricity. In addition, turn off the flat iron shortly before ironing the last piece. It will stay hot for long enough to finish it.

- Cool down after a long day of partying by switching off unused lights and other appliances that give off heat.This will help you relax better while conserving energy at the same time.

Let Christmas not only be a time to share our happiness and love with each other, but also to show our concern for our dearest Mother Earth.


Cara Tambong is a student of De La Salle Lipa and is currently an intern at Greenpeace Philippines. Follow her on Twitter via @StarEnthusiast.