6 Exuberant Eco-Friendly Gifts - 2016 Holiday Gift Guide Part 2 | Direct Energy Blog

6 Exuberant Eco-Friendly Gifts – 2016 Holiday Gift Guide Part 2

With the turkey bones picked over and Black Friday long past, holiday gift-giving is in full swing. Since we all have someone on our list who’s hard to shop for, we’ve decided to share our gifting suggestions in our 2016 Holiday Gift Guide to make everyone’s holidays merry and bright.

Green Living and Energy Efficiency

As the northern hemisphere tilts into the longest night of the year, we celebrate the lengthening days and the reawakening of the earth with lights and holiday greenery. Well, at least in the places where it does actually snow.

What better way to celebrate the annual cycle of energy and renewal than to give gifts that help people be more energy efficient or eco-friendly? We’ve pick out a few such examples that should delight the earth lovers on your shopping list.

1) The Rodale Guide to Composting

6 Exuberant Eco-Friendly Gifts - 2016 Holiday Gift Guide Part 2 | Direct Energy Blog

Both the out-of-print 1979 edition and the newer 1992 edition of this tome are revered must-haves for anyone interested in composting for landscaping and gardening, whether it’s a small backyard plot or entire industrial campuses. Even though much of the book is now online, gardeners insist this is one you want to carry in your back pocket while you’re outside.

It exhaustively covers everything about compost — history in human agriculture, bin construction, and chemistry. You will never look at plate scrapings and yard waste the same way. This is just the thing to give the gardener in your life!

2) Recycled Rubber Cases for Electronics 

6 Exuberant Eco-Friendly Gifts - 2016 Holiday Gift Guide Part 2 | Direct Energy Blog

Taraluna sells products that are socially responsible, eco-friendly, organic, and recycled in order to create a sustainable life for their workers. By reclaiming rubber from discarded tires, Taraluna’s workers craft tough, durable rubber cases for electronic gadgets and get paid a fair price.

Water-proof and non-conductive, the whole line of products prevents tires from winding up in landfills or being burned. The company also make gnarly recycled truck tire messenger or computer bags. Prices run from $6 for a phone case to $65 for messenger bag.

3) Portable Solar Chargers

6 Exuberant Eco-Friendly Gifts - 2016 Holiday Gift Guide Part 2 | Direct Energy Blog

One of the “first world problems” of the 21st century is that camping or doing research in the great outdoors requires dragging along some sort of gadget or computer that needs to be charged. Enterprising eco-friendly companies have developed portable solar battery charging backpacks and cases that get their power from inexpensive thin-film photovoltaics.

If you know someone who’s on the go and always needs to charge their electronic devices, consider one of these items from Voltaic Systems. Just make sure you figure out the wattage needs of the person receiving this gift, then grab one and go! They work on anything that can charge or be powered via a standard USB cable. Prices run from $45 for a 10-watt charger, all the way up to $300 for items using more than 17 watts.

4) Kill A Watt PS-10

Knowing how much energy your home electronics use and being able to control that amount helps make your energy use more efficient. The Kill A Watt power strip not only lets you monitor your electronics’ energy consumption, but it also protects them from surges by detecting over-current, over-voltage, and no-load detection to provide safe power. This item delivers 10 protected outlets and an amperage adjustment selector. Priced at about $70.00, you can control power to everything with one switch.


6) Tesla Powerwall 2

6 Exuberant Eco-Friendly Gifts - 2016 Holiday Gift Guide Part 2 | Direct Energy Blog

Storing twice the power of the first generation Powerwall, this device can power an average two-bedroom home for a full day if starting at full capacity. It also costs less than the earlier iteration — a mere $5,500.

Perfect for the people who have solar panels on their homes, each Powerwall stores 14 kWh of electricity, is compact, stackable, and features a built-in inverter and liquid cooling system. When including the cost of installation, this item has an estimated $7,100 price tag. And sure, that’s a bit hefty to fit into most people’s stockings just now, but it might be worth considering for next year. Besides, you’re supposed to dream big – that’s why it’s called a wishlist!

What eco-friendly and energy-efficient items would you include on this gift guide? Share with us in the comments!


Vernon Trollinger is a writer with a background in home improvement, electronics, fiction writing, and archaeology. He now writes about green energy technology, home energy efficiency, the natural gas industry, and the electrical grid.

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