Gifts That Keep On Giving


Image Source: Premier Packaging

Today is "Cyber Monday" and, let's be honest, you are doing more holiday shopping online that actual work, right? Don't worry, we won't tell your boss. This holiday season why not give a gift that keeps on giving? Too many of the products available today share some of the same flaws; not being durable, being energy intensive in their manufacture, and being energy intensive in their use. Why not look for products that last a long time and also save energy? Here are some gift ideas for you consideration.

Gifts That Save Energy

PowerCost Monitor
The PowerCost Monitor by Blue Line Innovations integrates with your existing electric meter and transmits the information to a user-friendly display that allows you to monitor your electricity use. The company claims that its product can result in savings of 6-18% on your electricity bill.
Watt Stopper Isolé IDP-3050
The Isolé IDP-3050 is an occupancy sensor-controlled surge protected power strip. This product can help reduce the "phantom energy" used by components of your entertainment center, or home office by turning these components off completely when you are not in the room. Unswitched outlets on the unit allow you to continue to power your DVR and WiFi router 24/7.
The Kill A Watt Meter
The Kill A Watt meter by P3 International allows you to identify wasted energy by showing the exact amount of electricity used, in kilowatt-hours and dollars, of whatever is plugged into it. You can discover the extent of electricity wasted by unused phone chargers or appliances in "standby" mode, or you can measure the electricity used by non-Energy Star appliances that you are considering replacing.

Gifts That Save Water

Evolve Showerheads
Evolve Showerheads contain a special temperature-sensitive valve that turns off the flow of water when the hot water from the water heater reaches it. This prevents the waste of hot water as you wait for your shower water to heat up. When you are ready to get into the shower simply pull on a cord to resume the flow of water.

Gifts For Those Who Already Have Everything

We all know someone that already has all of the material possessions that they need. Instead of getting them some nicknack, assorted clutter, or useless gadget consider a charity that has special meaning to your recipient, whether it is a breast cancer charity or Habitat for Humanity. If you don't know what charity to choose there are some excellent international development charities to choose from:
Modeled after the micro-lending concept pioneered by the Grameen Bank, Kiva allows you to invest money in small businesses in the developing world. Since 2005 Kiva has lent over $100 million to 600,000 entrepreneurs around that world. These entrepreneurs, who are chosen by investors, repay the loans at an average repayment rate of 98%. The repaid amount can either be withdrawn by the investor or can be reinvested into a new micro-enterprise.
Play Pumps International
Play Pumps International Provides play equipment for children that doubles as a water pump. As children spin the play equipment drinking water is pumped to a storage tank for use by their school or their community.
Heifer International
Heifer International allows you to buy a cow, a flock of chickens, or other livestock for a family in the developing world to allow them to provide sustainable nourishment or income for themselves.

FTC Disclosure: The author requested and received sample units of some of the products discussed in this article.
Pablo Päster is a weekly columnist for, an experienced greenhouse gas engineer and the Senior Environmental Program Manager at Hara Software. Send your questions to Pablo(at) or submit the via this form and connect to his RSS feed. More Articles On Holiday Gift Ideas: 2009 TreeHugger Gift Guide Holiday Gift Guide: For The Green Geek

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