December 20, 2010 in Features

Stock shopping list with green gifts

Terri Bennett McClatchy
 

Sprint’s SOLIO Mono Hybrid Charger allows cell-phone users to store power from the sun or electrical socket.
(Full-size photo)

So you’ve gone ahead and bought those hot holiday gifts for that special someone on your list. Now, do your part to make them as eco-friendly as possible.

Whether you’ve decided on an iPad or another in-demand gift, I’ve got the scoop on some fun, efficient and oh-so-green accessories.

Let’s start with the hottest gift on the market: the iPad. You may want to spend a ton of time picking out the perfect app, but don’t forget the perfect case to protect your prized possession.

There are beautifully and responsibly made cases including ones made from bamboo, recycled leather or even recycled water bottles. They’ll cost you anywhere from $30 to $90.

Another hot gift for the bookworm on your list is the Kindle. You can find protective cases made from “eco-leather” that requires fewer dyes and toxins in the tanning process.

There also are cases made from eco-friendly materials such as hemp or recycled wool. Prices for these cases start around $20.

If the iPhone or another hot cell phone is on Santa’s list this year, you may want to think about getting a whole new kind of phone charger.

Solar cell phone chargers, which start around $40, will recharge your phones without using any electricity – ever.

Or think about AT&T’s Zero Charger, which automatically shuts off the power when it’s not charging a phone. That’s different from other chargers which sip energy (and money) even when they’re not charging a phone. You can pick one up for less than $20.

There are plenty of other products which will help you save on energy and resources when it comes to those must-have electronics of the season.

Consider a smart power strip. The outlets on this power strip work together to easily power on/off multiple electronics at one time. You can find them starting around $30.

Another smart investment is in rechargeable batteries. Americans use 300 billion disposable ones each year and most of them end up in landfills. A four-pack of rechargeable AA batteries and a charger will cost you less than $20 and save you hundreds of batteries over its lifetime.

There are links to all the products mentioned at DoYourPart.com/Columns.

It’s also important to remember that hot holiday gifts don’t actually have to be a product or thing. Some of the best gifts I’ve received are services.

Who wouldn’t love a gift certificate for a massage, house cleaning or baby-sitting? Those are gifts that are truly thoughtful and nearly waste-free.

Whether you’re shopping for others or yourself during the holidays, make sure green items are on your list. It’s another easy and economical way to do your part during the season of giving.

Terri Bennett is a veteran TV meteorologist, syndicated columnist and host of DoYourPart.com, where you can find everyday green living ideas that are better for you and the planet. Send questions to terri@doyourpart.com.


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