This holiday season may look different than those in years past, but there is one constant you can rely on to make your holiday bright – holiday décor! Decorating your home this season is a way to bring joy to your loved ones, and whether your household is large or small, Charlotte based designer Courtney Colborne (@homebycoco on Instagram) has some tips that will help you do so while also conserving energy and preserving the environment.

A Toast to Tasty Treats

  • It can be tempting to sneak a peek at the gingerbread men baking in the oven, but opening the oven releases the heat your oven worked hard to create and forces it to work even harder to keep cooking your dish. Set a timer and check on your baked goods via the oven light.
  • Want to avoid using the oven all together? Courtney said, “A charcuterie board has slowly become a staple around the holidays in our family. If you are in a pinch and need to get something out, toss crackers, pretzels, jam, grapes, salami, and cheese on a wooden board and everyone will pick at it.”
A woman looking into an oven with cookies baking

Making Holidays Merry and Bright

  • LED lights and candles are an excellent way to brighten your spaces throughout your home while also saving energy compared to traditional lights. You can use a LED lit menorah, a LED lit kinara, or string LED lights on your Christmas tree. “Energy efficient lights allow you to leave the lights on a little longer,” shared Courtney. Also, LED lights have the benefit of lasting longer and being more durable so you can enjoy them for years to come!
  • Courtney also pointed out that, “Light timers are a great way to come home to twinkling lights.” It’s also a great way to save you from making a late-night trip down the hall to switch them off and it also can reduce your energy bill.
  • As a bonus, you can easily manage your lighting and other plugged-in decor with a power strip, turning them all on or off with one button.
a light timer plugged into a socket

Candles on a table with Christmas décor in the background

Energy Efficient Warmth

  • There are few things cozier than a throw blanket or holiday-themed pajamas. Wearing warm, comfy seasonally appropriately clothing reduces your household’s reliance on an HVAC system to heat your home. Snuggle up with a loved one, grab a mug of hot chocolate and enjoy a movie. As a bonus, bright festive throw blankets make for functional décor.
  • As you hang garland in your windows, this may be an opportunity to add in weatherization stripping. Weatherizing your windows can reduce drafts and installing storm windows can cut heat loss.
  • “If you are hosting a large group, turn your thermostat down. It will quickly get hot with all the guests and the cooking, you can always use your fireplace and crack open a window but try not to make your system get overworked.”
Christmas décor and a lady standing next to a yellow chair with a red blanket in her hand

The Gift That Keeps on Giving

  • Whether you’re giving a gift in celebration of Kwanzaa, Hanukkah or Christmas, you can also gift the Earth a little less waste by using recycled paper, previous gift bags or other items in your home. Instead of tossing delivery boxes that come to your home year-round, save a few to use for gifts during the holiday season.