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When do you typically decorate for the Holidays? I love how every family has a different timeline and tradition for decorations.  We begin decorating the day after Thanksgiving and gradually add ornaments and decorations over the following weeks.  

A couple years ago we made the switch to all LED Christmas lights which are “supposed” to last 15-20 years- I suppose only time will tell if this is true or not.  Lights seem to break down frequently and are typically just tossed into the dumpster.  Fortunately, there are a few options for broken lights!

Broken strings of lights can be recycled many places.  The best way to find out where is to look for electronic recycling (Earth911.com has a great database) in your local community.  Hardware stores will frequently collect lights this time of year and will sometimes even offer coupons or discounts towards energy efficient lights.

Another option would be to upcycle them!  Use the cord as a rope, turn the bulbs into ornaments or jewelry, or get creative and squish the lights in and around existing lights if you only have a few broken bulbs.

I can’t wait to hear what ideas you have for broken lights.  Share them with me in the comments below or at blog@keeper.com.

Happy Holidays!  


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Olivia lives in Boulder, Colorado with her husband and 4 year old son. She enjoys spending time in the mountains, studying about essential oils, natural remedies and herbs, as well as upcycling/ DIY projects. Olivia’s family made the move last year towards becoming a Zero Waste household. They have gotten down to one bathroom sized trashcan a month of garbage but hope to be totally Zero Waste by the end of 2015.

Like this? Check out the rest of our Waste Less and Be Green in 2015 series for more tips!

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5 Responses to Waste Less and Be Green in 2015- Week 50
  1. If you have some time on your hands you can strip the plastic coating off the copper wire and sell it to a scrap metal place. Or reuse the wires to make lamps or other light fixtures.

  2. We threw a string of lights away once. Thanks so much for these helpful tips!

  3. I keep the broken ones to use to fix other broken ones (using light bulbs from an old set to replace one or two in a newer set). I never thought about reusing the wire though so thanks

  4. Much less trash. Luckly we live super sustainable already this was super fun

  5. I did not complete all 52 challenges but have changed quite a bit. I recycle more instead of just pitching it, I choose the reusable alternative to a product if there is one, and I put a lot more into compost then I recently had.


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