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.

Here, Danny shares some tips to shrink your holiday “footprint” and save a little money in the process.

Danny, How Can We Stay ‘Greener’ This Time of Year?

•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.

•Keep your lights on a timer. 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.

•Get a smart/programmable thermostat. It makes a great energy-saving Christmas gift that will keep giving for years to come — expect a cost savings 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 model.

What Are Other Tips to Help Shrink Our Holiday Footprint?

•Recycling can have a big impact, and that’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.

•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!

What Can We Do to Make the Christmas Tree Eco-friendlier?

•Visit a local 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

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

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

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