Give and receive the gift of green this holiday season. Green – by its 21st-century definition- is good.
We Americans are going green. Some say we’ve reached the point of no return. Like the “ecology” movement of the 70’s and the technology boom of the 90’s, the “green” movement is forging ahead. There is no longer a typical demographic to define the green consumer. Everyone gets in the game. Women primarily purchase green products for themselves and for their men. Children influence their parent’s purchasing decisions.
Adults buy from businesses that stock their shelves with renewable consumer products. According to a 2005 UK report, three in 10 Americans are classified as green consumers, bringing $225 billion to the marketplace. That’s good news for you and me. Finding and selecting a green technology gift is easier than ever.
Consider solar power, wind and water, and give gifts that take advantage of the renewable resources of the earth. Solar-powered gifts are available for all budgets. No, I’m not suggesting you give a windmill to your husband for Christmas, or dig a well. But consider battery chargers and bike lamps; spa heaters and solar trailers. Solar-powered gifts now meet consumer demand for price and availability. Portable water purifiers that make dirty water drinkable are great gifts for the outdoorsman or -woman.
Now, there are many high-quality gifts made from renewable materials. Wood and cotton are renewable because they are continuously harvested and replanted. Find a gift that incorporates both of these renewable materials and environmentally-friendly packaging, and you have hit the trifecta of green technology gift-giving. Consider Timber Sound LLC. They make Thinksound headphones using real wood from renewable forests, a cotton carrying pouch and PVC-free cables. The company uses bleach-free packaging and has eliminated unnecessary plastic bubble inserts.
Don’t think that a green gift has to be a cheap trinket or toy made from inferior products. Computers, cell phones and other high-tech electronics can make great green gifts. Some stereo speakers, boom boxes and even computers are now encased in recycled cardboard instead of plastic and incorporate a high amount of other recycled material in their design. Samsung’s Reclaim cell phone is manufactured from 80 percent recycled materials and Sony’s GreenHeart Elm received top honors in 2010 with a ranking of 4.3 out of 5 on green standard credentials.
Gifts For Kids
Kids learn while they play with toys. Start early with your kids, teaching them about green technology by giving them a gift that simulates life in an environmentally-friendly community. PlanToys has Eco Town, an interactive play mat for kids age 3 years and older. They build streets for electric cars, bicycle trails and walking paths, and an eco-train station. It introduces children to clean energy sources by giving them a choice about where they place charging stations, parks and ponds.
So there is some food for thought. Don’t be afraid to be a bit discerning this holiday season and shop stores that are incorporating this burgeoning industry into their product mix.
- Green Earth Technologies Joins NASCAR as Official Green Partner (sacbee.com)
- Green Technologies Help Companies Meet Sustainability Goals, Improve Bottom Lines (cleantechnica.com)
Editor's note: Photo, courtesy Creative Commons