11 Best Holiday Movies (and Their Subtle Green Messages) : TreeHugger

11 Best Holiday Movies (and Their Subtle Green Messages) : TreeHugger.\

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“I won’t let all this commercialism ruin my Christmas,” he repeats.

With “250 strands of lights, 100 individual bulbs per strand, for a grand total of 25,000 lights” adorning the outside of their house, the Griswolds are an energy-conservation nightmare (especially since they’re decorating pre-LED).

After an unsuccessful attempt to steal joy from the Whos down in Whoville by taking everything from their toys to their roast beast, he sums up an anti-consumerism position in one succinct rhyme: “It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes, or bags…What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store? What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more?”

Using paint cans, Matchbox cars, old mannequins, leftover tar, randomly-sized nails, a pile of feathers, and other items that most of us would consider junk, he saves the day without spending a cent.

The Polar Express may be a more kid-friendly ode to the benefits of public transportation, but we’ll always prefer the sweet story of Sandra Bullock as a sans family token-taker in Chicago, Peter Gallagher (and his eyebrows) as the rider she saves from the tracks, and Bill Pullman as the brother she was meant to be with.

It’s just not the holidays without plenty of travel — and in Four Christmases, Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon try to make the most of those miles by getting as far from their families as possible.

But a canceled Caribbean flight leaves them stuck on the road for most of the holiday — and with the drama that ensues from a day with all four of their parents’ new families, they would have been better served by a staycation at their own home.

And while Scrooge is more concerned with his health and happiness than with the environment, the last-act epiphany that turns him into someone who cares about others is exactly the kind of wake-up call that inspires people to save the Earth for future generations.

Santa sends customers to other stores that have the gift they’re looking for (instead of working with from a “buy more” mentality), and his court case inspires the people in his life to realize that the “lovely intangibles” of the world — love, joy, peace — matter more than any wrapped gift.

Imagine the effect on this snowman-come-alive classic with a dramatic change in weather patterns: Either it would be too warm to make him in the first place, or too cold to stay outside long enough to play with him.

When Buddy the Elf travels from the pristine North Pole where he grew up to meet his real human family in New York City, he runs into plenty of not-so-green elements — cars, trash, consumerism.

But when Santa’s unable to finish delivering his presents on Christmas Eve, it’s because his sleigh runs on an entirely-renewable alternative energy: cheer. If only we could get our cars to run on song, too.

From Caribbean lionfish to Asian carp, invasive species can wreak havoc on their non-native ecosystems — much like the tiny Gremlins, who aren’t nearly as adorable when they’re fed after midnight.

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Carbonrally – christmas LED

R, G, and B LEDs [7].

Image via Wikipedia

Carbonrally – christmas LED.

Use the above link to accept the challenge and to learn more!!

Challenge

Replace your old incandescent holiday lights with light-emitting diode lights (LEDs)

Challenge Details

This challenge was originally published on November 29, 2007. We’re about 40x larger for the 2010 holiday season, so let’s deliver a much bigger holiday gift to Planet Earth this time around!

There are few symbols of the winter holiday season as vivid and meaningful as holiday lights. Just when we turn back our clocks, beckoning to our innate urge to hibernate, the holiday lights are illuminated to signal the winter holiday celebration. While there are plenty of opportunities to reduce carbon emissions during the holidays, switching your traditional, incandescent holiday lights to new light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs is perhaps the simplest way to achieve large carbon emission savings without curbing your participation in holiday cheer.

The Carbon Connection
The fact is, by switching to LEDs, you can readily preserve your most garish holiday lighting arrangement and still reduce your carbon impact by 90% compared to last year. And the carbon connection is pretty simple to understand. Every time you flick on a light switch, electricity flows from the nearest power plant which is probably powered by coal, oil, or natural gas. Wherever you can minimize your electricity demand, you will directly ratchet down the carbon emissions from your local power plant.

Compared to traditional incandescent holiday lights, LED lights use much less electricity. An average string of incandescent holiday lights consumes about 500 watts of electricity every hour. In comparison, a similar string of LED holiday lights uses about 50 watts per hour. That’s one tenth the electricity! And that translates into about a 3/4 pound reduction in CO2 emissions for every HOUR you use a string of LEDs instead of traditional lights.

And all that saved electricity translates to saved money as well. Each LED string will lower your energy bill by about $9 by the end of this holiday season.

Getting It Done
Replace your old strings of incandescent lights with LED strings now. In the long run, it will benefit your wallet, your sanity, and Earth.

LED lights are available everywhere this year. The cost of a string of 100-bulb LEDs can vary from $25 at the local hardware store to as low as $10 if you shop around on-line. Regardless of the price you pay, there is an initial financial investment for LEDs compared to the $4 you’ll pay for incandescents. However, you will quickly recoup your initial payout through energy savings and durability.

Here are a few places we found LED holiday lights for sale:

Environmental Lights
Christmas Lights Etc.
1000 Bulbs

And, of course, you can find strings of LED bulbs for sale at your local Home Depot or other big-box superstore.

And don’t throw away your old lights — recycle them. Many companies that sell new LEDs also recycle old, incandescent strings. The Christmas Light Recycling Program at HolidayLEDs.com is just one example.

Rules of the Challenge
The duration of this Challenge is one month, and the total CO2 reduction is 251 lbs. So, if you accept this Challenge, you’ll see about 8 pounds of CO2 reduction added to your Rally account each day for the next 30 days.

If you typically use lights for less than 30 days during the holidays, you’ll have to apply some creative math. The 251 lbs of CO2 savings in one month is based on two 100-bulb strings of lights (roughly enough lights for a Christmas tree) burning 6 hours a day for 30 days. If your lights are only up and lit for 15 days, you’ll need to replace four sets of lights to reach this Challenge’s CO2 savings value. On the other hand, if you decide to replace additional strings of lights inside or outside your house (all those trees and bushes), you can accept this Challenge again for every two strings you replace.

As with all Challenges, the most important thing is that you take a small action to reduce climate change. Don’t sweat the numbers too much; just take the Challenge!

See the Math
Let’s start with the known or estimated numbers:

  • A single string of 100 old-style incandescent bulbs requires 500 watts of electricity per hour.
  • A single string of 100 LED bulbs requires 50 watts of electricity per hour.
  • On average, folks use two 100-bulb strings of lights on their tree
  • Swapping out one string of incandescent bulbs for one string of LEDs saves 450 watts per hour. Swapping out 2 strings of bulbs saves 900 watts per hour.
  • A kilowatt is equal to 1000 watts. Using 1 kilowatt for 1 hour is what your electric company describes as 1 kilowatt-hour (kWh). So swapping out 2 strings of bulbs saves 0.9 kWh for every hour the lights are lit.
  • On average, lights are lit for 6 hours a day for 30 days during the holidays, or 180 hours total.
  • A fossil fuel burning power plant releases an average 1.55 pounds of CO2 for every kilowatt-hour it creates.
  • Each kilowatt-hour (kWh) costs about $0.12 . So, based on the assumptions above, completing this challenge will save you about $19.40 The cost of switching to new LED bulbs will be covered after about two season of use.