Presents powered by solar energy are gifts that keep on giving, without having to spend money on expensive batteries or other less-than-sustainable components. This holiday season, give a gift that will last.
SunHarvest Solar is ready to get in the holiday spirit! With the cool weather, family, food and festivities, saving energy isn’t always the first thing on our minds. But with a few easy tips, you can conserve energy and save money this holiday season.
1. Swap your old light strands for LED decorations
It’s time to break out the decoration boxes and light up our homes, but this easy swap adds up to big savings. Choose holiday light strands with LED bulbs to save money with your festive displays this winter. LED lights use far less energy, are safer, and last longer than other lighting options. Save even more by putting your light displays on a timer. Click here to check out these Energy Star Certified light strings that use 75% less energy than conventional brands. Our favorite LED light strands are ones powered by solar!
2. Save paper and get creative with gift-wrapping
If every family in America wrapped just three presents in reused materials, it would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields, according to the CDC. Save money and paper by using creative alternatives to wrap gifts. You can use old newspapers, funky leftover fabric or a unique reusable tin to package presents. Click here for more creative gift-wrapping ideas!
3. Feast on savings by changing kitchen habits
Is your mouth already watering for that holiday ham? For many families, the kitchen is a busy place over the holiday season. By making a few changes in the kitchen, you can save tons of energy. Avoid opening the oven door while cooking, as this can lower the temperature by 25 degrees — use the oven light to keep tabs on your food instead. Don’t waste time and money by preheating the oven for ham or turkey. These foods cook slowly and for a long time, so there is no reason to use all that extra energy.
4. Tweak your thermostat
When you’re at home and awake, keep your thermostat at a comfortable level. When you go to sleep or leave the house, turn it down by 10 or 15 degrees. Turning your thermostat down this far for eight hours can save up to 15 percent a year on your heating bills! When more people are in a room it takes less heat to stay warm, so turn down the dial when guests are over too. Make sure your windows are sealed, and if you have a fireplace, keep the damper closed unless a fire is burning.
5. Dial down the water heater
Did you know that water heating accounts for about 18 percent of the energy used in homes? Turn your water heater down to between 120 degrees and 130 degrees to save some cash. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, water heaters that are set too high can waste between $36 and $61 every year. Turning your water heating temperature down also slows mineral buildup and corrosion in your water heater and pipes.
By taking a few steps to save energy, you’ll have some extra green to go around for the things that count this holiday season!
Solar can do so much more than just power your home. There are all sorts of gadgets out there that every solar fanatic should have in their arsenal. Whether you’re hanging out by the pool, on a camping trip in the mountains, or just love collecting cutting-edge stuff, these solar innovations will help you take a step into a green — and really cool — future:
HeLi-On Charger - Portable solar chargers are nothing new, but this one is refreshingly different. With a rollout solar panel, this charger is compact and lightweight. It gives you the option of charging your device directly, or you can charge the HeLi-On’s internal battery and charge your device at a later time. You can pre-order yours from the company’s Kickstarter page.
Skylock - This is a new one for even us. We never knew we needed a solar-powered bike lock until now. The Skylock connects with your smartphone and remotely unlocks itself. It uses built-in solar panels so you don’t have worry about getting stuck somewhere if the batteries run out. Its Bluetooth capability allows for automatic unlocking when you’re near. Purchase yours here.
Sun Table - This gadget may be a bit extravagant (with a price tag to match) but we still think it’s cool. The Sun Table allows you charge your laptop outside so you never have to miss the beautiful weather while working. The tabletop even tilts to catch the most sun possible. A built-in inverter allows you charge or power any device you wish to keep outdoors with you. Learn more.
ECEEN Solar Backpack - How many times have you been hiking or camping and realized your phone is all out of juice? Sure, you don’t go out there to stare at Instagram all day but it’s always a good idea to have a charged device in case something goes wrong. The ECEEN Solar Backpack allows your to charge your smartphone on the go. Available in a variety of colors and sizes, the ECEEN is a must for any outdoor enthusiast. You can get yours on Amazon.
SolarCool Cooler - Okay, beach season may be coming to an end, but that doesn’t mean you can’t pick up this badboy. The SolarCool cooler utilizes solar panels on it’s lid to keep your food and drink cold for up to 18 hours. It also allows you to charge your devices while hanging out at the beach, lake, or wherever your adventures take you. Without the need for ice, you can head to your destination without making pit stops to the gas station. Buy yours here.
Is there anything solar can’t do? These are just a few examples of cool solar tools you can purchase, but solar goes way beyond the latest gadget. Solar is the wave of the future. Click here to visit our website and learn what solar can do for you.