Christmas Lights

It’s hard to avoid plastic when buying Christmas lights, but next time you need to replace your lights how about only considering LED lights? LEDs save heaps of energy and are far more efficient than regular bulbs.

There is also no need to sacrifice that warm hue when you pick LEDs, as there are a great range of attractive colours and hues available on the market. Store them well and they could be adorning your home for many festive seasons to come!
You could also look out for solar powered outside lights – no more remembering to turn on the festive cheer each night, as they will turn themselves on when it gets dark.

Candles

There is nothing quite as cosy on a cold winter’s night as flickering candle light. There are so many designs, accessories and smells to choose from.

Traditional candles sadly however add more than just atmosphere to your home. They release chemicals, some of which are carcinogenic. Like many carcinogens, it’s likely that risk is linked to the amount you’re exposed to, but if you’d prefer to keep the air cleaner in your home, try these precautions:

1. Burn candles in well ventilated rooms

2. Avoid cheap, heavily scented candles. The scent in these candles is chemically created. You could try a reed diffuser using natural oils if you want fragrance, just be aware that many people who suffer from asthma report difficulties with strong smells.

3. Try alternatives to paraffin based candles – such as soy wax or beeswax . The main thing with any of these is to make sure you buy from ethical and responsible suppliers, for example UK based companies Heaven Scent or Candles Naturally

4. You could also try an LED battery operated ‘candle’. They’re not for everyone, but have improved a lot since they first appeared and now offer warm, flickering glows much like the real thing.