6.6 billion kilowatt-hours

Oh gee what do you know it turns out all those Christmas lights use a lot of electricity. I thought there had to be a special dispensation from someone that made them magically not part of our brisk destruction of our own ecosystem, but no.

With the world moving towards cleaner energy and looking to reduce emissions, there are questions to be asked about the heavy usage of Christmas lights.

Yes like why the fuck don’t people just stop doing it, seeing as how we’re racing toward disaster as it is.

I bet a lot of people think it’s “for the kids,” but if so that’s sad because guess who is going to be dealing with much worse effects of climate change than we adults are.

A 2008 study from the US Energy Department’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) found festive lights accounted for 6.6 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity consumption every year in the US.

That may have just been 0.2% of the country’s total electricity usage, but that amount of energy could be enough to run 14 million refrigerators, according to the study.

And it’s completely optional and unnecessary. There’s no law that says you have to stick lightbulbs on your house in December. People are mostly inside watching Don’t Look Up after dark anyway, not outside gaping at your lightbulbs. The fact that it’s “only” 0.2% (which is actually a hell of a lot if you think about it) doesn’t make it ok to make the problem worse for no real reason. The need to stay warm in winter is one thing, the need to be able to read outside at midnight is another.

The people in my neighborhood are getting worse about it instead of better, too. More lights than ever, and left up apparently forever. The people across the alley from me – who have them all over a very large roof & deck & porch & god knows what else on the far side where I mercifully can’t see them – still haven’t taken theirs down, 26 days after Christmas, and they’re not the only ones.

It would also have been enough to provide electricity for the whole of El Salvador, where the Central American country’s consumption was 5.9 billion kWh in 2016.

What I’m saying. 0.2% of US consumption is not “only.”

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