This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Project Envolve. All opinions expressed in this post and blog are my own and may not reflect the opinion of Project Envolve and its sponsors.
There are days when I wish I were Amish just so I could save money on my electric bill. Seriously, is my addiction to reality television, well-lit bathrooms and the convenience of a microwave oven really worth it? (The answer is a resounding “yes,” but there are ways to spend less on those 21st century comforts.)
I’m very happy to report that I’ll be experiencing some of those savings this month and throughout 2014 thanks to my participation in Project Envolve. The project, which is sponsored by PPL Electric Utilities, was created to help inspire people to adopt a more energy-efficient, green and eco-conscious lifestyle.
The first lesson I learned from Project Envolve is that when it comes to energy efficiency, it’s all about the lights. And when it comes to saving money on lights, there’s no better season to start than during the holidays.
Here are a few quick tips, followed by a fun holiday light project inspired by the folks at Project Envolve.
- Switch to LED lights – According to the U.S. Department of Energy, LED bulbs cost only 27 cents to power for 12 hours a day for 40 days compared to $10 for regular incandescent bulbs. For those keeping score at home, that’s a savings of $88 per year (or roughly six bottles of wine).
- Use a timer – Timers plugged into your outlets will ensure that your lights turn on and off when you need them to. In other words, you’ll never waste electricity because you forgot to turn off the lights.
- Get an LED night light – An LED night light that unplugs to become a flashlight is double money saver. How does it save double? No more spending money on the batteries you’d normally waste in regular flashlights.
As a Project Envolve participant, I’ll be embarking on special “missions” (fun, crafty projects) every three weeks or so throughout the next year. My first mission: Creating fun, yet easy “Ping Pong Ball Christmas Lights.”
To make the Christmas lights above, all you need is a strand of LED lights and some ping pong balls. Drill holes in the balls (just big enough to insert the lights), insert the light bulbs and add a bit of hot glue to hold them in place. (If the holes are snug enough, you won’t need glue. Also, if you don’t have a drill or aren’t “drill savvy,” you can poke holes in the balls using a screwdriver, which is what I did.)
NOTE: This project should ONLY be done with LED lights because the lights’ cool running temperature makes them safe for use with the ping pong balls. If you add an outlet timer to your new lights, you’ll save even more money!
In the spirit of sustainability and savings, you can also save money on wrapping paper by making these fun newspaper gift bags.
Visit the Project Envolve website for more information about Project Envolve, including energy-saving tips and projects.