The holiday season is in full swing! All of the shopping, decorating and other preparations can take their toll on our wallets, and on the environment.

So, here are some tips to shrink your holiday “footprint” and save a little money in the process.

LED Christmas lights
LED Christmas lights consume 70 percent less energy than incandescent lights. (DepositPhotos)

Save energy! Ditch the older, incandescent-style lights for LEDs. LED holiday lights are sturdier, last longer and consume 70 percent less energy than conventional incandescent lights. They use a lower wattage so you can string more of them together. Also, they’re cool to the touch, so there’s less of a fire risk.

Hand adjusting dial for timed electrical outlet
Your Christmas lights don’t need to stay on all night long! Put them on a timer. (DepositPhotos)

Time Your Lights. You can use an indoor outlet timer, an outdoor stake timer that inserts directly into the lawn or control the display with a smart lights/app timer.

Smart thermostat installed on a wall just outside the bathroom
Smart thermostats can save you, on average, up to $180 per year on heating and cooling. (DepositPhotos)

Get a smart/programmable thermostat. It makes a great energy-saving Christmas gift that will keep giving for years to come — expect a cost-saving that averages 15-20%. The system will increase the efficiency of your system, and think of the convenience — having accessibility and control from any device! It has an average cost of $150-$250, depending upon the model.

Christmas gift wrapped in repurposed newspaper
Wrap your gifts in old newspapers to give them some old-world charm. (DepositPhotos)

Recycle. It’s not something we typically think of this time of year — unless perhaps you’re recycling a gift that you received a while back. You can save and reuse shipping boxes; one of the things I like to do is use old blueprints from my construction company to wrap gifts. You can also look to old paper bags, newspapers and even some magazines to use as wrapping.

Holiday decor with pine cone and fake snow
You can create a winter wonderland with just a pine cone and a mixture of baking soda and shaving cream. (DepositPhotos)

Use a mix of craft and natural decorations — including pine cones and live greenery — and here’s a great family activity: create crafts with the kids!

Cutting down Christmas tree at lot
It doesn’t get much greener than cutting down your own Christmas tree. (DepositPhotos)

Visit a Christmas tree farm and cut down your own tree; this activity is fun for the whole family and eliminates the transportation required for shipped trees

Potted Christmas tree held in person's hand
Also green? Using a living tree for your holiday display! (DepositPhotos)

Purchase a rooted/potted tree — sometimes called a “living” Christmas tree — that you can use indoors, and plant it outdoors after the holiday season.

Watch the full segment above, featured on The Weather Channel’s “AMHQ,” above to learn more!

Further Reading

Editorial Contributors
avatar for Danny Lipford

Danny Lipford


Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio,, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

Learn More