How to have a greener Christmas

Christmas lights around Yorkshire, on trees and outdoors, lift people’s spirits during the festive period - but is there a way to join in while keeping costs down and helping the environment?

Research has indicated that switching to using LEDs is the answer. These lights are energy-saving and could help you reduce your festive electricity bill by £20.

Juliet Davenport was an awarded an OBE for services to renewable electricity supplies. She is the chief executive of Good Energy, who carried out the study.

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She said: “It’s surprising how much electricity Christmas lights use up. Switching to LED lights, and being more careful about how long you leave them on for, will save you money and is good for the environment too.”

Figures show that one in three of us still do not use energy-efficient fairy lights and 41% of people surveyed confessed to leaving their lights on for more than six hours a day over the festive season.

Here are some more of Good Energy’s simple tips for having a greener Christmas…

Lighting: Put lights on a timer, turn off other lights in the house when fairy lights are in use, or just use fewer lights.

Decorations: Try making or using ornaments made from natural materials such as holly, mistletoe, ivy, pine cones or poinsettia.

Trees: More than six million Christmas trees are thrown away each year - so buy one that can be recycled afterwards or donated to councils’ tree collections. Or grow a sustainable one that can be re-used.

Turkey: Buy from a local farmer or visit the Big Barn Turkey Map to find all the organic and free-range suppliers in your area.

Vegetables: Roast these alongside your turkey and potatoes instead of boiling unnecessarily on the hob.

Kitchen: Put lids on pans when boiling to help keep the heat contained and defrost your freezer before Christmas so it will run more efficiently.

Cards and wrapping paper: Don’t throw it away and consider using E-cards. If you still prefer traditional cards, you can make your own or buy eco-friendly cards

Heating: Put on a Christmas jumper instead of turning up the thermostat.

For details of how much money you would save on your electricity bills, by switching to LED fairy lights, visit