Here’s Your 2013 Energy-Efficient Holiday Gift Guide
Stop your friends and loved ones from being energy Grinches this year. Before you run out and just buy all the latest gadgets, give the gift that will keep on giving (energy savings!) with these 11 sure to be a hit energy-efficient holiday gift ideas.
1. A Tablet
The switch from desktops to laptops brought a ton of energy savings to computer users everywhere. The transition to tablet computers is about to do the same.
An iPad, for example, costs just $1.38 a year to charge (over 25 times cheaper than the average desktop), and since you use it unplugged it isn’t constantly consuming vampire energy like a laptop or desktop does.
Depending on screen size and memory, a tablet can run you anywhere from $139 to $800. But the new Windows Surface (starting at $449) comes with Microsoft Office, a USB port, and a built in keyboard to make the switch from a laptop or desktop even smoother.
2. Power Tools (EnergyStar)
Cordless screwdrivers, drills, and saws – as well as cordless yard care tools like lawn mowers, string trimmers, and shears – all use about 30% less energy with ENERGY STAR-certified battery chargers.
Try the Craftsman C3 Drill/Driver Kit ($70) for your energy-efficient home improvement projects.
3. Motion-Sensor Power Strips
Think power strips are a boring holiday gift? Think again. Power strips stop your electronics from wasting energy when not in use, and now they can even turn on when you enter the room—so no need to stretch to turn that red button on and off all the time.
The WattStopper Isole IDP 3050 has eight outlets and comes with a sensor you can place under your desk.
4. Thermal Leak Detector
Feel like a super sleuth finding exactly where your home is wasting energy with a thermal leak detector. With the power of infrared sensors, this handy tool immediately detects the temperature of specific parts of your home, directly showing you what corners, nooks, and windows are colder or warmer than they should be.
The Black and Decker TLD100 ($52.99) will help your friend or family member keep their home energy-efficient (and cozy!) for many holidays to come.
5. PS4 and Xbox One
After years of increased energy consumption from our game consoles, both the PlayStation 4 ($399.99) and Xbox One ($499.99) are vastly more energy-efficient than their previous generations. Each contains a low-power AMD chip to achieve maximum gaming efficiency, and Enervee gave the systems a 100 (PS4) and 96 (Xbox1) efficiency score.
6. OLED TV
OLEDs, or organic light-emitting diodes, are the thinnest, sharpest, and most energy-efficient TV technologies on the market. But similar to LED lighting technology, the prices for larger ones are much higher, making adoption slow at the moment (although you probably have an OLED screen in your smartphone right now).
But if you’re willing to make the splurge you won’t be disappointed. LG's 55-inch OLED ($8,999), unveiled at CES this year, weighs just 16.5 pounds, is curved, and is about as deep as a pencil.
7. The Nest
The prefect gift for your penny-pinching parents, the Nest answers the questions “What would happen if the geniuses who design iPads and iPhones set out to fix common household devices?”
Created by two former Apple engineers (looks pretty freaking cool, doesn’t it), the Nest ($249) is the programmable thermostat you don’t have to program because it learns how to by itself. And since heating and cooling your home accounts for over half of your energy bills, the Nest will literally save your lucky recipient hundreds every year.
Out since 2011, the Nest is one of the most raved about energy-efficient products out there.
8. Portable Laundry Washer
For the back-packing traveler in your life. The Scrubba ($64.95) is a portable wash bag that can be folded into your pocket. Simply add in water, some detergent, shake, and presto! Not only did your clothes get clean in a jiffy (20-30 seconds is all it takes), but you also saved energy. Take a look at the how to video here.
For a less compact version you can use at home, the Laundry Pod ($99.95) is like a salad spinner for your clothes that will save you tons on heating water.
9. Pressure Cooker
What? You don’t have a pressure cooker already? They are are the perfect gift for the chef who doesn’t want to spend any extra time in the kitchen.
And not only do they cook your food faster (water boils at higher temperatures under pressure), but they’re by far the most energy-efficient way to cook—cutting your cooking energy use as much as 70%
The Instant Pot IP-LUX60 ($159.95) is a six in one programmable pressure cooker that will save you money and time in the kitchen.
10. Designer Bulbs
Yeah, light bulbs don’t sound like the sexiest gift to give someone special this year, but designer CFLs, like the ones from Plumen ($29.95), will impress even the most ardent incandescent fan. Like any other CFL, Plumen saves up to 80% on energy and lasts 8 times longer than a standard incandescent.
But in contrast to the conventional CFL spiral shape, the Plumen design is like a sculpture, with tubes that flow around each other and offer a varying silhouette depending on your perspective.
They’ve also been an inspiration to many designer lamp shades.
11. Energy-efficient Dog (or Cat!) Door
Stop Rover (or Snowball) from racking up high energy bills because his doggie (or kitty) door is letting cold and hot air escape all year long. Energy-efficient pet doors, like this one from Freedom Pet Pass ($275), actually insulate and form an air-tight seal to block the cold air from coming in, allowing your furry best friend to be active outside without feeling bad about leaving the door open.