I am a member of Project Envolve, which is sponsored by PPL Electric Utilities. I received compensation in exchange for this post about how to lower your electric bill. All opinions are my own. #ProjectEnvolve #GetEnvolved
The last time I brought you a post as part of the Project Envolve team, we were talking about how to save money on winter energy costs. We all want to save money on winter heating and electric bills, and there are so many ways to do it. Some are a little more in depth, like scheduling a home energy audit, but some are nothing more than small, simple things that really add up over time.
What kinds of small things, you ask?
- Double up on oven time. Get your baking done while you’ve already got it preheated for dinner.
- Use that slow cooker! This tip never gets old. You can even make dessert in the slow cooker!
- Let your bottle of spiced wine sit on a low-energy candle warmer.
- Put your holiday lights on a timer. Who wants to pay to entertain the squirrels in your yard at 2am?
- Learn how to make a glittery paper snowflake.
Merry and Bright
Glitter? Yes, glitter! Sparkle, glimmer , glitz – they can all help you save electricity during the holiday season, lowering your energy bill! When you start with a small number of energy-efficient lights, then up the glitz factor with sparkly ornaments and reflective decor, your holiday spirit will really shine (without a lot of electricity!)
There’s no need to pull a full-on Griswold, so start with minimal LED lighting. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, LED holiday lights only cost 27 cents to run for 12 hours a day for 40 days, compared with $10 for incandescent bulbs. LEDs also last 10 times longer and are cooler and brighter than other bulbs. These are our new favorites, because they’re so dainty and easy to hang, and they provide just the right amount of gorgeous white twinkle.
Next, amp up the sparkle with glittery ornaments and reflective decorations. Metallic garland or a well-placed mirror can double or triple the effect of your light strands, bouncing light and colors to fill your home with no extra energy required!
Keep your eye out for the right kind of decor in your local stores, or grab some Glitter Cardstock and make your own. We’re covering our tree in these sparkly snowflake handmade ornaments this year, and they cost less than a dollar each!
See how they catch and bounce the light? I can’t wait to make about a dozen more!
Handmade Snowflake Ornaments
For each snowflake, you’ll need one sheet of shiny or glittery cardstock, and a glue gun. That’s it! (Except for something sharp to cut your paper. Scissors or exacto-knife.)
Cut cardstock into strips of these lengths:
- 7 strips – 3″ x .5″
- 7 strips – 5″ x .5″
- 7 strips – 7″ x .5″
- 7 strips – 8″ x .5″
- 14 strips – 3.5″ x .5″
Using tiny dots from your glue gun, use the 3″, 5″ and 7″ lengths to create 7 of the shape on the right, then use the remaining lengths to create 7 of the shape on the left (the 8″ length, bent in half, with a 3.5″ length looped on each side.)
Bend the end of each loop to give it a crease, then push it back down to reshape it a little.
Lay your pieces out in your desired snowflake shape. You may need to bend a few a little bit to make them wider (I had to do that to ensure mine were all equal.) The process of joining all these pieces together was a little tricky, but this is what I learned: don’t glue on the sides…place your hot glue dot on the ends, then hold them together for a minute. All your glue will end up in the very middle of your snowflake.
Work your way around, attaching all pieces to match the way you had them arranged. If you want to hang your ornament, just loop a piece of ribbon or twine through. Then make sure you hang it by your lights so it can really shine!