Christmas lighting is a chance to be green

Published 11:08 pm Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I applaud the efforts of our city leaders and individuals on our local tourism council who have taken the initiative to try and improve the quality of the holiday experience downtown for residents and visitors alike.

In difficult economic times, it becomes more important for us all to slow down and enjoy the simple pleasures of our hometown. I do love that big tree in the middle of the street.

But we must not lose our sensitivity to the unique historic character of the city or overlook our responsibility to preserve that character. Longwood is better off without a million white lights and blaring modern Christmas carols on the grounds.

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With concerns about global climate change added to our financial troubles, it is also problematic in my opinion for city government, for individual business owners, or for homeowners to take on significant additional utility usage and costs.

My hope is that serious consideration will be given to the use of energy efficient LED or solar-powered lights wherever possible. Even a quick scan of the Internet turns up a wealth of sources.

We have an opportunity to provide environmental leadership in this area — and perhaps even gain positive publicity as a by-product!

We also can use this opportunity to teach our children to be good stewards of the earth’s resources. There are probably grant opportunities for implementing energy efficiencies that could be tapped by the community.

In the 21st century, this seems a more visionary approach than merely trying to replicate or out-do the energy-guzzling, late-20th century lighting effects of other tourist towns like Natchitoches, La.

Kathleen Jenkins

Natchez resident