As the days get colder and shopping becomes a holiday pastime, it’s a great opportunity to think about efficiency and savings (and that doesn't just mean rationing wrapping paper). With that in mind, here is a list of energy-efficient holiday gifts for your energy-conscious loved ones. With these gifts, your carbon footprint and home electric bill could dip along with the temperature.
Portable Battery or Fuel Cell Phone Charger
For the gadget-carrying loved one, a portable charger is one of the greatest gifts they could ask for. These battery-powered devices can be used to recharge smartphones, GPS devices, and even music players several times over while on the go. Thankfully, rechargeable batteries can be used, which is much better for the environment.
Some of the newest portable charging devices also run on hydrogen using miniature fuel cells. These nifty devices use special cartridges that react with the air or H20, right from your own water bottle, to produce electric current. Prices are a bit steeper than a battery-assisted charger, but the hydrogen fuel aspect is a definite novelty to consider as a great stocking stuffer.
For recommendations to save as much as 30% energy on charging devices, consider ENERGY STAR®‘s list of certified products, including rechargeable batteries (such as the AA kind) and chargers.
There’s nothing comfier than a micro fleece blanket on a cold winter morning. It’s also one of the easiest and most inexpensive gifts you can buy for your family, allowing you to turn down that expensive furnace and still keep the family cozy and in high spirits.
Just in case you haven’t noticed, hardware stores are now selling standard LED bulbs for less than ever before. In addition, they come in almost any color and type you can fathom. And unlike CFLS and old incandescent light bulbs, some LED bulbs last so long that they could literally light a toddler’s lamp through high school, all while saving 75%-80% more energy than incandescent bulbs. So, consider putting some upgraded LED lighting under the tree.
Energy-Efficient Power Strips
Your entertainment system and holiday tree might be doing more than just lighting up the room at night. Even when turned off, many electronics can still run up your electric bill, sipping electricity when idle. Maybe it’s not the most exciting gift, but a simple fix to cut down on seeping energy is a power strip with auto shut-off technology. If the one you buy lacks this feature, making a habit of flicking the off switch can still save approximately $100 a year, according to ENERGY STAR. This idle electricity use accounts for roughly 8% of household electricity costs.
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