We realize that most of you have your Christmas shopping done, but if you're stuck for some last-minute gift ideas (or maybe a holiday treat for yourself,) here are some eco-friendly and a money-saving ideas. These are also appropriate for year-round gift- giving as well.-LED: When shopping for an LED ready appliance, make sure the manufacturer is reputable and that the product has the Energy Star seal. -Kill–a–watt Meter: These meters usually run at around $20. When used properly, energy sinks in your home can be identified, like a television set that still draws energy after it’s off. -Power Strip: Once you find the energy sinks in your house, alleviate problem through using the smart power strip. It reduces wattage to outlets with lowered energy demand from what’s plugged into it. -Low Energy Night Light: Electroluminescent nightlights shine softly at night, and turn off when its daybreak. These are about $5 per light and cost about $.02 to run through the year. -Shower Head: A low capacity shower head might be the most exciting gift, but saving money without sacrificing water pressure is always nice. For a good 1.5 gallon-per-minute shower head, expect to pay $25. -Walk More App: These smart phone apps measure how far you've walked, run or ridden through GPS. For many, seeing how far they’ve gone in a day is very motivational. There are hundreds out there, and most of them are either free or very inexpensive. -Thermostat: Programmable thermostats usually cost between $50 and $100, but they save hundreds of dollars in energy savings. -Transit Passes: Taking mass transit saves on gas, provides the commuter a chance to avoid traffic and relax. These passes are usually inexpensive, but make sure service is available in the area first. -Cargo Bike: These types of bikes have grown more popular recently. They’re specially designed to let you haul groceries and run errands without a car. Some are also available with electric booster motors which are battery-powered. -Donations: With a little research, you'll be able to find a good organization to support the environment and energy research. Many people appreciate a donation in their name to an organization with which they agree.
Gift giving can be a lot of fun, but it can also be beneficial to the environment as well. At Quarve we're committed to green building practices and materials, and we're happy to pass on ideas that can help you lessen the environmental impact of your own life and contribute to protecting Minnesota's natural resources. Happy Holidays!
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