Sådan gør du julen økologisk

Den traditionelle juleudsmykning med masser af lys forurener i stor stil. Kan du ikke undvære den, så kan du skifte til økologiske lavenergipærer.

400 kilo CO2. Så meget kan et stort forbrug af lys i h

If you decorate your home at Christmas with an "extravagant light display" you could be responsible for producing 400kg of carbon dioxide according to the Energy Saving Trust.

Much of this carbon is fuelled by outdoor lights displays, which can add £75 to a household's electricity bill over the festive season. But even leaving conventional Christmas tree lights on for 10 hours a day over the 12 days of Christmas produces enough CO2 to inflate 12 balloons.

A set of 200 traditional lights will cost £2.40 if used for eight hours a day for a month and will generate 10.32kg of CO2 over this time according to Local Government Association.

Outdoor Christmas lights use more energy as they tend to be high-wattage and therefore less energy-efficient.

If you want to be more environmentally friendly, try switching to either LED lights, choosing lights that are powered by solar power or rechargeable batteries, or installing an energy-saving bulb to offset the energy usage.

It is estimated that if every UK household installed just one energy-saving bulb it could save over £80m per year - meaning a little extra to spend next Christmas on gifts and treats. You should, of course, replace all regular lights with energy saving ones (you can sign up for this past pledge here).

Retailers are starting to help consumers who want to do more, with Ikea selling eco-Christmas lights, and even one of the world's most famous Christmas trees at the Rockefeller centre in New York setting a good example by going green, smartplanet.com reports.

Over the next three weeks, we will be encouraging Tread lightly readers to join together for a less carbon-heavy Christmas with a variety of pledges, so hopefully there will be one for everyone.

In the meantime, last week we published an ethical gifts guide that can get you off to a good start.

The goodlivingtips website has some good advice on a green Christmas, as does the bean-sprouts blog, where you can find out about one family's efforts to "live the good life".

Gareth's Kane's eco-living.blogspot.com website has a useful food footprint calculator, which may make some people think twice before undertaking their Christmas grocery shopping, and Smart Planet has some good tips on getting a green Christmas tree.

So what sort of things will you be doing at home to have a greener Christmas?