Long, dark winter nights are here: Energy-saving gifts can light your way
When it comes to energy-saving gift-giving, ’tis the season for more than one reason.
No question, the holidays are primetime for thoughtfully choosing the very best presents for those near and dear to us. But this is also winter in Minnesota, a costly time of the year for energy use. And like it or not, a serious cold snap is blowing in this week...
So if you’re having a hard time finding gifts for the important people in your life, here are some fun and innovative energy-saving gifts that will keep on giving throughout the winter (and year-round).
- Smart power strips. These convenient gadgets have multiple ways to turn off devices when not in use, from simply being powered off with a remote to monitoring nearby motion. Use this infographic to find the right one for your family. And if you want to get super-techy, there are even outlets you can control with your smartphone.
- Smart thermostats. Like the power strips above and a host of other “smart” devices, smart thermostats can be one of the easiest ways to save loads of energy at home. Companies like Nest and Ecobee are leading the field with innovative features to save energy while keeping you comfy.
- Portable solar panel chargers. This one’s a great gift for outdoor enthusiasts, whether they’re camping, dog-sledding, or ice-fishing — as long as the sun is out, these solar-harnessing products give you the power to stay connected while you are away from electrical outlets.
- LED lights. At 75% greater efficiency, and 25 times longer-lasting than incandescent bulbs, LEDs are quickly becoming your loved ones’ best long-term lighting option. Prices have dropped as features have grown — changing colors or turning lights on and off is a snap nowadays, even remotely.
- Shower timer. Anybody on your list want to save energy, but they don’t know how? A great way to save energy is to simply to use less hot water by taking a shorter shower. Automatic timers such as the HITO or Shower Saver feature water meters with countdown timers to cleverly keep you on track and remind you it’s time to get out!
These are just a few of the great ideas out there, as energy efficiency continues to assert itself as your surest investment — for yourself and your loved ones — to stay comfortable, cozy, and cost-effective as the north wind blows.
For more tips for saving energy and money in your home and business, check out the Minnesota Energy Challenge.
Image credit: Sharyn Morrow via CC