It’s the most wonderful time of the year! While the trees are trimmed, the lights are brightly shining, and as you look to finish your holiday shopping list – energy savings may not be the first thing on your mind. However, even during the holidays, it’s important to keep energy efficiency in mind, so that those twinkling lights and electronics don’t spike up the electric bill.
Similarly, many items that help reduce energy consumption are also great gift ideas. Below are a few practical gifts that are perfect for the person that is energy-conscious and aware of their carbon footprint. Of course, anything that is Energy Star approved is a certified product that saves energy, and is better for our environment and your bottom line. Products that save energy and help reduce our environmental impact: a great combination to consider this holiday season.
A smart thermostat is a great way to save your family money while taking the guesswork out of what temperature your home should be. These products automatically adjust your heating and cooling system to best fit your needs. They can even be adjusted with voice command or your phone. Smart thermostats learn your temperature preferences for when you’re home, away or asleep – and develop a schedule based on those preferences. Geofencing allows the thermostat to know when you are on your way home and adjust the temperature to your liking. Because the thermostat is set a few degrees lower or higher (depending on the season) when you are not home, you end up saving up to 8% a year on your energy bill.
Energy Star certified wireless speakers use up to 45% less energy, while still delivering quality sound for your favorite songs. They are an amazing gift for music-lovers, and also an ideal addition to your holiday party. Some speakers even come with built-in charging abilities – so no batteries are needed. Wireless speakers don’t require much power and will work for a long time, a win-win!
Tablets use four times less energy than a laptop or desktop computer. So, if you like to stream shows in bed, read your favorite electronic book or play games – a tablet is the perfect item. A way to save energy while using your tablet is to set your brightness level to auto-brightness, so the screen light will automatically be adjusted. Keeping your tablet up to date ensures it has the latest energy saving software and programs. These products are great for traveling, too.
Solar Powered Charger
As our list of portable electronic devices continues to grow beyond just phones (AirPods, smart watches, tablets, etc.), who couldn’t use an extra portable charger, and why not a solar charger? Solar portable chargers harness the power of the sun to provide a convenient and sustainable solution for powering your devices on the go. A few of their many benefits include: 1) reducing reliance on traditional power sources and minimizing your carbon footprint; 2) many solar chargers are compact and lightweight, making them ideal for travel, camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities; and, 3) in emergencies or power outages, a solar portable charger can be a reliable source of power to keep essential devices, such as phones and flashlights, operational.
Reusable Water Bottles and Insulated Drinkware
By gifting a high-quality reusable water bottle, you can help reduce the energy used in the production and recycling of disposable plastic bottles. Similarly, how about an insulated travel mug or thermos? Insulated drinkware can help keep beverages hot or cold for extended periods, reducing the need for energy-consuming reheating or refrigeration.
Encourage eco-friendly transportation with bike-related gifts, such as energy-efficient LED bike lights, a high-quality bike lock for security, or maybe a new helmet for both safety and style.
Along with these energy-efficient gift ideas, we recommend a few other ways to save energy this holiday season.
Ideas include: set timers for your holiday lights to limit their daily runtime (and to make sure you don’t forget to turn them off!); use LED lights; get cozy by the fire with a blanket and comfy sweatshirt (which also make great gift ideas); and, unplug electronics and appliances when not in use.
Whether in your own home or business, or spreading energy awareness to others, there are many ways to keep energy savings in mind this holiday season!