5 Practical Gifts Everyone on Your List Will Love
It’s hard to believe we’re only a few weeks away from Christmas, but with each passing day, your time to pick out that perfect Christmas gift is dwindling! While everyone wants to pick out a special and unique gift for their loved ones, try to keep in mind the practical consequences of your gift. For example, does it have a costly upkeep? Does it require additional parts or regular maintenance?
One way to show extra thoughtfulness in your gift is to choose an option that either saves energy or is Energy-Star approved. While few would ask directly for practical gifts, weeding through your options to find a variety of items that conserve energy is like giving some extra cash with the gift. And who doesn’t want—or need—some extra cash?
Bonus: Practical gifts, like the ones below, also make great gifts for people who have everything. And we all have a few of those on our lists, am I right?
Practical Gifts for Everyone on Your List (that happen to save energy, too!)
1. Power Tools
When it comes to gift giving, power tools seem to regularly be at the top of a fixer’s list. Electronic screwdrivers, electric saws, and cordless screwdrivers are just a few of the items that reappear as popular Christmas gifts year after year.
However, when weeding through the list of choices, picking an option that is energy-efficient is like giving another gift that will keep on giving. Look for the recognizable Energy-Star label on the rechargeable battery of your tool gift of choice, a choice that will save the user about 30% more energy (and money!) than an non-Energy-Star option.
This energy-saving device is costly, but hey, if someone has been extra nice on your list this year, offering them an alternative to their energy-draining desktop computers is sure to make you their #1 Santa! An average desktop computer costs over 25 times the amount it costs to charge a laptop or tablet, not including energy wasted when desktop is on without being used.
There are a variety of laptop computers or tablet devices on the market now so make sure to do your research before you buy. There’s a huge disparity in space, speed, and capabilities on each, and your choice should reflect how the owner will be using it. This is a practical gift sure to make that special someone very happy!
3. Pressure Cooker/Slow Cooker
While the word on the street is that people don’t like to receive a cooking tool as a gift, we beg to differ. Choosing a kitchen gadget like a pressure cooker or a slow cooker is a great gift idea, especially for those looking for ways to ease their kitchen time or stress.
The pressure cooker cooks at high temperature in an extremely short time span while the slow cooker cooks at a low temperature over many hours. While very different in nature, both are extremely energy efficient and much cheaper than more traditional cooking appliances like ovens and stovetops.
Looking for examples on how you can use a slow cooker to save energy prepping that big holiday meal? Read our round up of energy-saving holiday meal tips.
No, we’re not kidding. Blankets. Everyone loves a cozy, warm blanket, and while we don’t often consider them an “energy-saving” device, finding alternatives to boosting the heat is one of the best ways to save money in the winter.
Even though it seems very simple, having a warm, comfortable blanket around is a great deterrent to cranking the heat. When choosing a blanket to serve practical purposes, think material. When it comes to maintaining and containing body heat, wool is definitely first choice, followed by down feathers. Some might think wool is a little scratchy so a beautiful down blanket might be a winner. In all likelihood, without even trying, the recipient will start saving energy in no time!
5. Solar Backpack
Well, this is just plain awesome. A solar backpack. No, it doesn’t blast you into outer space but for any techie, it’s the perfect gift.
With solar panels on the front of the backpack, there is no need to pack a spare battery pack. One hour of sun will provide about three hours of talk time for a typical cell phone, and four-five hours of sun will provide a full charge. An even greater delight to those environmental lovers, the fabric of the bag is made from recycled PET (soda bottles) which is waterproof, lightweight, and UV resistant. The solar panels are also waterproof, lightweight, and built to withstand abuse. The bags are a little costly (upwards of $150) but are definitely worth the investment. Check out Mashable’s top picks for solar backpacks here.
Any other ideas on an energy-saving Christmas gift? Let us know!