This holiday shopping season, consider gift options that give more! The EPA is recommending numerous ENERGY STAR gift-giving ideas that will help your friends and family give back to the environment and make an important difference in the fight against global warming — all while saving money! The typical household spends more than $2,200 a year on energy bills, and with ENERGY STAR, you can save more than 30%, or about $700. Over the lifetime of ENERGY STAR products, a household can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 120,000 lbs and save more than $10,000 in energy costs.
A few ENERGY STAR gift options and ideas include:
If a television, DVD player, stereo, or cordless phone is on your list, looking for the ENERGY STAR is "on the money," since ENERGY STAR points you to the most energy efficient product models. Today's ENERGY STAR qualified TVs meet new, stricter requirements and offer up to 30% energy savings over standard models. If you are in the market for a digital picture frame, consider one that has earned the ENERGY STAR — it uses 25% less energy than non-qualified models.
This holiday, help someone get their home office up and running with ENERGY STAR qualified office products. The ENERGY STAR label is on a number of office products from computers and monitors to fax machines, printers, and copiers — everything you need to make your home office work energy efficiently for you. A home office that has replaced all of its equipment with ENERGY STAR products and has enabled power management features on the ENERGY STAR PC and LCD monitor will save a consumer more than $160 over the lifetime of the products. Make sure you remind your gift recipient to keep the power-management features enabled on their new computer or monitor. Power management places computers and monitors into a low-power "sleep mode" when not in use and allows them to awaken within seconds, saving more than $25 per year. You can save even more by plugging your electronics into a power strip and turning the strip off when not in use.
A great gift idea is a product that uses ENERGY STAR qualified battery chargers, such as video game controls, digital cameras, shavers, hand vacuums, power tools, and even cordless lawn mowers. Products that use ENERGY STAR qualified chargers use 35% less energy compared to those with conventional chargers. As you replace your old battery chargers, remember to recycle them. Many manufacturers and retailers have electronics recycling programs nationwide.
Decorate your home or tree with more style and less energy with ENERGY STAR qualified decorative light strings. Featuring LED technology, qualified light strings use 75% less electricity than conventional incandescent light strings; are available in a variety of colors, shapes, and lengths; are much more durable and shock-resistant than other light strings; and emit less heat.
Smaller, less expensive gifts can make surprising stocking stuffers! An ENERGY STAR compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulb is a unique gift if you want to get someone started on energy savings. You'd also never expect to think about caulk and weather-stripping as a gift, but these useful energy-saving home project ideas are perfect to protect against the winter chill.
To illustrate the impact these gifts make, include EPA's free literature explaining how your gift helps the environment. Check out our list of home improvement and product materials, or order activity books for the kids. Also, if you give an ENERGY STAR gift this year, download our campaign gift label (499KB) to thank your friend or family member for making a difference for the environment.
If you give the gift of ENERGY STAR this year, don't forget to encourage your gift recipient to take the ENERGY STAR Pledge and check off the action that corresponds with the gift. Also, you can both share your stories to let us know how you save energy and to inspire others to save. Together, we can all celebrate the holidays by making a difference in the fight against global warming.