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Celebrate the Environment: Look for the ENERGY STAR® to Give Green

2008 November 20

About the author: Maria Tikoff Vargas has worked at EPA for over 20 years and is currently the Brand Manager and Communications Director for EPA’s ENERGY STAR program.

Choosing holiday gifts can be challenging. I try to consider what each person wants, what they need, what’s on sale – the usual. But, since I work on EPA’s ENERGY STAR program, I realize that new purchases can have a big impact on household energy use and on the environment. Luckily, by looking for the ENERGY STAR, it’s easy to find gifts that save energy, save money on utility bills, and help fight global warming.

ENERGY STAR’s new, stricter qualification for televisions was recently released, so a flat-screen TV will certainly make my husband happy while using 30 percent less energy than standard units. He’s excited to watch HD programming, and both he and my son will be thrilled to play their new video games on a big screen. I’ll also pick out some movies that we can watch together on our new ENERGY STAR qualified Blu-ray DVD player.

My daughter is taking piano lessons, so she’s getting an MP3 player loaded with Mozart. I’m sure Miley Cyrus will find her way on there soon, though. I’ll look for a model that comes with an ENERGY STAR qualified power adapter, which is 30 percent more efficient than a conventional model. We’ll also set up a power strip where she can plug in the charger, making sure to switch off the strip when not in use.

For the kids’ teachers and the newspaper carrier, I’ve stocked up on ENERGY STAR qualified compact fluorescent light bulbs, which make small but useful presents. At home, I’m planning to switch to ENERGY STAR qualified decorative light strings. They consume 75 percent less energy than conventional incandescent light strands. We’ll also make sure that our regular green habits don’t fade away during the holidays, diligently using our programmable thermostat and sealing any drafty cracks to make sure the house stays cozy. These and other actions throughout the year are simple ways our family tries to help our environment and reduce our carbon footprint.

I definitely have some work ahead this season, but I feel good about giving fun, useful gifts that are also environmentally friendly. And just in case you know my husband, I’ve had my eye on this great little ENERGY STAR qualified laptop… Maybe you could drop a hint?

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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12 Responses leave one →
  1. November 23, 2008

    great energy saving ideas nice post

  2. sandy permalink
    May 30, 2009

    energy efficient appliances is really the need of current scenario to save energy and save environment. Energy Star is doing a great on this. Kudos for this.

  3. Mark permalink
    September 29, 2009

    lets not forget about all the efforts Energy Star is doing with replacement windows.


  4. The Window Man permalink
    December 19, 2009

    Replacement Windows are a good holiday gift.

  5. Amanda Jones permalink
    January 27, 2010

    Saving energy using any latest technology is to be applauded. Energy saved is Money saved. I’m all about environment friendly gifts and products and I’ve been an advocate in this area. Great article!!

  6. Cathy Jacobs permalink
    January 30, 2010

    Great article on replacement windows. We replaced our windows recently and saved almost $125/year on heating costs! Gotta wait till the summer to see what we’ll save on Air Conditioning!


  7. April 17, 2012

    There is noticeably a bundle to know about this. I assume you made certain nice points in options also.

  8. April 23, 2012

    Exactly what some really good mp3 players for kids? My cousin is 5 years old and for christmas Id like to see to buy her a music, she loves my nano but I think it would difficult for her to utilize it. Are there give ones for kids?

  9. carbon frames permalink
    October 13, 2013

    Yeah, it is of great importance for us to protect the environment.
    It is all of ours.

  10. carbon wheels permalink
    October 13, 2013

    It is all of our duty to protect the environment.

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