I know this is a little out of my usual kitchen/food range of topics, but I’m telling you about this in honor of America Recycles Day and because I find this very useful. From now until Nov. 20, you can take your old strings of holiday lights to Sears or Kmart with their Trade in and Trade up to EnergyStar program. They are partnering with Electronic Recyclers International to recycle your old Christmas tree lights and other holiday light strings.


I have two boxes of old lights that have been sitting in my office for over a year waiting for me to send to an organization that recycles lights. Now, I don’t have to go to the post office and pay postage. I can take them to a Sears that is close to me. In return, I’ll receive a coupon for $4 off of efficient LED holiday lights that use 70 percent less energy than incandescent lights.

According to the Sears blog, if every decorative light string purchased in the United States this year had the EnergyStar qualification, we could:

• Prevent 1 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions per year, equivalent to the emissions from about 100,000 cars

• Save more than 700 million kilowatt hours of electricity

• Save about $80 million in annual energy costs

That’s a lot of energy and money savings.

I’m going to be running errands a little later today, and I’ll finally be getting rid of those boxes of old, broken holiday lights. Remember, the program ends on Nov. 20, 2010, so don’t wait too long if you want to take advantage of this easy way to recycle your holiday lights. 

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

An easy way to recycle old holiday lights
Sears and Kmart will accept your old incandescent Christmas tree lights and give you a discount on more energy efficient LED lights.