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We did it. We finally took advantage of the 75%-off post-holiday sale and bought some LED Christmas lights.

As we’ve pointed out on this blog before, the energy savings from LEDs can be staggering. They’re also brighter and last longer.

The downside is that we’re now stuck with several strands of quasi-functional old-style Christmas lights to get rid of. I don’t want to throw them in the trash, and I’m pretty sure Goodwill won’t take them, so what to do?

Thanks to the Clean Energy Resource Teams, I’ve learned that I can simply drop them off at my neighborhood hardware store. If you live in Minnesota, this slick interactive map will show you where you can recycle your old lights.

If you don’t live in Minnesota, you can send ship them off to Michigan in exchange for a coupon to HolidayLEDs.com. Failing that, it’s worth a call to the local recycling center. The copper wire inside may be worth something to them.

And once you’re done with that, you can eat the Christmas tree.

Photo by dnudson via Creative Commons

Ken Paulman

Ken is the director of the Energy News Network at Fresh Energy and is a founding editor of both Midwest Energy News and Southeast Energy News. Prior to joining Fresh Energy, he was the managing editor for online news at Minnesota Public Radio. He started his journalism career in 2002 as a copy editor for the Duluth News Tribune before spending five years at the Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Washington, where he worked as a copy editor, online producer, features editor and night city editor. A Nebraska native, Ken has a bachelor's degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a master's degree from the University of Oregon. He is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors.

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