A very ‘green’ Christ­mas

Three Mile Plains home­own­ers take en­ergy ef­fi­ciency to heart with Christ­mas dis­play


For nearly a decade, Reid and Deb­bie Swinamer have been light­ing up their home for the hol­i­days in a rather un­usual way.

The Swinamers, who live at the end of a cul-de-sac on Swinamer Drive, an off­shoot of the Three Mile Plains Cross Road in Three Mile Plains, use re­flec­tive tape in­stead of tra­di­tional elec­tric lights.

The re­sult: a dis­play that only ap­pears when ve­hi­cles shine their lights on their home.

“It gives me a good laugh. I hope other peo­ple get a good laugh out of it,” said Reid, when asked why he ini­tially de­cided to pur­sue light­ing up his yard in such a man­ner.

But more than that, they’re re­duc­ing their car­bon foot­print.

“It’s a se­ri­ous joke,” said Reid. “You’ve got to look on the bright side. There’s no elec­tri­cal. There’s no bulbs to burn out. No con­sump­tion of elec­tric­ity, and to take it down, we just take a bucket and go around and col­lect them up.”

The dis­play fea­tures a large train car­ry­ing Santa, a gin­ger­bread house, sev­eral Christ­mas trees, a snow­man and var­i­ous other smaller dec­o­ra­tions. The branches on the trees lead­ing down their drive­way all dance with light when cars pass by.


Reid Swinamer poses by some of the newer dec­o­ra­tions that grace his lawn. His wife, Deb­bie, paints the dis­plays and the pair have been us­ing re­flec­tive tape to light up their yard for nearly a decade.

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