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Holiday decorations make this time of year a treat, but those twinkly lights come at a price. Holiday lighting in the United States alone uses enough electricity to power 200,000 homes for up to a year. If all the decorative lights sold in the US this year were ENERGY STAR® certified, the energy cost savings would be $560 million each year and would prevent greenhouse gas emissions equal to those from nearly 660,000 vehicles, according to the EPA. There are great opportunities for energy savings when thinking about the holidays, and the Cook County Department of Environmental Control has compiled a few tips to help save you money and energy during the holiday season.
- Use LED holiday lights. LEDs use up to 90 percent less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs and last considerably longer — incandescent lights can be used for 3,000 hours while LED lights could last up to 50,000 hours. You can recycle your broken or old holiday light strings and extension cords at various locations via the Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County’s Holiday Light Recycling Program. Click here for specific community drop-off locations.
- Limit the time the lights are on. Use a timer to turn lights on when it gets dark and off in the middle of the night. If you don’t use a timer, unplug the lights before going to bed for the evening. This is even more critical in saving energy this holiday season if not using LEDs.
- Use reflective decorating. Tinsel or mirrored ornaments reflect the glow from your lights making your tree even shinier.
- Turn down the thermostat. Lowering the thermostat by 1 degree can decrease energy usage by 2 percent. Turn your thermostat down while there are additional guests in your home and while you are gone visiting others.
- ENERGY STAR® electronics and appliances make great gifts. If you are buying electronics or appliances as gifts this year, ENERGY STAR® certified products use up to 60 percent less energy than their non-certified counterparts. Click here for more details.
Want to learn more about how you can save energy and money in your home all year round? Visit our website or contact Sarah Edwards at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on smart meter and energy efficiency programs.
A Message from the President
I believe that Cook County should be a world-class model of sustainability. We are working not only to boost sustainability practices throughout County government, but also to join forces with local governments, nonprofits and business, to accomplish more than we could separately in making each of Cook County’s communities sustainable. To further this work, I appointed Deborah Stone as the County’s first Chief Sustainability Officer, and as Director of the Department of Environmental Control. I also recognize that Cook County needs to share ideas and collaborate with a diverse group of community leaders and sustainability experts. In March 2012, I appointed the Cook County Sustainability Advisory Council to help lift our vision higher and give us access to best practices. You can meet the Council members and read more about their mission in the “Advisory Council” section of this website. Toni Preckwinkle,Cook County Board President
What is Sustainability?
" Ensuring that there is enough for today without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."Deborah StoneChief Sustainability Officer, Cook County Government
Contact UsCook County Chief Sustainability Officer
69 W Washington
Chicago, IL 60602
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