Now that everyone’s starting to put up their Christmas decorations, many homeowners are probably discovering that some of their Christmas lights no longer work. However, these lights don’t have to end up in landfills just because their colors have faded; there are other ways of disposing them. Here are some ways to put old light strings to good use:
Use Parts For Handicraft Projects
If you enjoy making handmade décor, set aside the wires and transform them into works of art. Stripped off casing and twined wires can be used for making frames or wall decor. The sheen of the wire and its pliability makes it a great material for tree ornaments. Try your hand at shaping words from the wire and making pretty angel or star ornaments.
Utilize Light Recycling Programs
Many states and private industries offer programs for recycling lights. Minnesota’s Recycle your Holidays program allows homeowners to donate their unwanted Christmas lights through its participating locations. Meanwhile, several companies like Home Depot and Crown-ACE Hardware accept lights for recycling in exchange for gift certificates or discounts on new Christmas lights, especially LED ones. This is a great option for those hoping to switch to more energy-efficient lights.
Give Away Functional Strands
Light bulbs that have faded or burnt out can still be used by those who have no means to buy new ones. Help brighten up the holidays of the needy by donating strands that are still functional to a local shelter or church with charity programs. You can also box up the lights and drop them off at a Salvation Army store near you. The Internet is a good source for easy ways to send donations. Websites like Freecycle.org aim to keep good stuff away from landfills. If you sign up for a free membership, you can find out how to donate your light strands to other communities.
These are just some of the ways you can recycle or reuse your Christmas lights. You may aim to go for economical options in the future by replacing your old incandescent lights with LED lights, eliminating the need to recycle light strands for at least a few years.