Green gift-giving guide
By Meghaan Evans
Wondering what to buy for the person who has everything? How about a gift for an environment-friendly family member or friend? This holiday season, PEC urges you to consider giving the gift of energy efficiency.
This doesn’t mean that you have to go out and replace your aunt’s refrigerator or your grandma’s washer and dryer — though you may be their favorite if you do. Giving the gift of energy efficiency can be as simple as filling their stockings, or creating a gift basket, with some of these helpful products.
LED bulbs use about 75%–80% less energy than traditional bulbs.
LED light bulbs are the easiest way to increase efficiency in your home. From indoor bulbs for your lamps, recessed lighting and hanging fixtures, to outdoor lighting such as flood lamps and even decorative lighting strands, there’s an LED bulb for everyone.
LED lighting used to be deemed as prohibitively expensive, but prices have gone down significantly in recent years. Look for some top-rated options for energy-efficient lighting in the online energy store.
Water-saving shower heads
A low-flow shower head can help reduce water consumption.
Water-saving shower heads are also a great gift option. On average, Americans consume more than 3 billion gallons of water daily. Switching to a water-saving shower head could help an average family use up to 370 fewer kilowatt-hours per year and reduce water consumption by more than 2,900 gallons per year.
Lack of water pressure can be a concern when giving this gift, but there are shower heads available that save water, but not at the expense of water pressure. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's WaterSense partnership program identifies products that use less water but perform equal to or better than conventional shower heads.
Providing your family and friends with energy-efficiency tips along with a gift is also a great option. For example, did you know that one of the best ways to save energy in your home is to turn off all of your electronic devices? A power strip is a convenient on/off switch for your electronic devices, and makes a great stocking stuffer.
Supplement your gift with caulking supplies or weather strips, and before you know it, you will have the perfect energy-saving gift! All of these products are available online and at big box hardware stores, so get to shopping. From all of us here at PEC, have a happy, energy-efficient holiday!
Meghaan Evans writes on consumer and cooperative affairs for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the Arlington, Va.-based service arm of the nation’s 900-plus consumer-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperatives.