Energy Conscious Gift Guide 2015


Awesome Holiday Gifts Powered By the Sun!

If you’re looking for some truly unique gift ideas this holiday season, look no further. While the latest gadget is often a popular holiday gift choice, consider putting a twist on this tradition by giving gadgets that are powered by the sun—and help your gift recipients save energy and money, as well as learn about the benefits of solar.

Gifts that sun on the sun

Creative Edge Solar Cell Phone Charger—The Creative Edge Solar Cell Phone Charger transforms environmentally friendly solar energy into power to charge your device’s battery. Unlike the iPhone 6, which only packs a 1,810 mAh battery, this five-panel solar charger can store up to 5,000 mAh, which means you could fully charge up the battery 2.5 times on a single solar charge. The small size allows it to be easily charged in numerous situations and the two USB ports let it charge two phones (or a single tablet) at once. Oh, and did we mention? It’s also water resistant!

Swiftly Done Peel-n-Stick Outdoor Solar Lights—There’s no shortage to the number of solar-powered outdoor lights available, but few are this simple. Install in seconds just by peeling off the backing and stick to any surface (bricks, stucco, siding, wood, metal, glass etc.). It charges up during the day and lights up your porch, driveway or any other area that requires additional light at night. The smart design lets it save power by dimming when there’s no motion detected and increases the light output when motion is detected.

Logitech Solar Wireless Keyboard—Wireless keyboards have been historically undervalued because of unreliability in their wireless communications and constant need for replacement batteries. Enter the Logitech solar-powered wireless keyboard. At only 1/3 of an inch thick, this sleek keyboard has no battery hassles with any light source keeping it charged for at least three months in total darkness!

Eton Rukus Solar Powered Bluetooth Speaker—The Eton Rukus Solar-Powered speaker won’t give you the sound quality of a full-on speaker system, but the Rukus is highly portable and stores enough power to play music for eight hours on a full charge. It’s also capable of charging your smartphone via the USB port and is water resistant as well, making it great for poolside listening and go-anywhere versatility.

Birksun Boost Solar Backpack—The Birksun backpack features a built-in solar panel and portable battery for keeping all of your electronics juiced up on the go, even if your adventures take you off the beaten bath. Charge your smartphone up when the sun is out and when it’s done, plug in your battery so it can be a helpful backup power solution when the sun goes down and you need to recharge. Or share it with a friend because friends don’t let their friend’s phones die.

Skylock Solar Bike Lock—Bike locks, while incredibly necessary, have yet to catch up to the times. But the new Skylock, from ex-Boeing and Jawbone engineers, leapfrogs the competition to bring bike protection into the 21st century. The Skylock connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth to unlock when you approach, can detect crashes and notify anyone in your network, sends theft alerts and lets you share access with other. Plus, it looks amazing! Check out the YouTube video to see it in action.

Brookstone Solar Powered Mason Jars—Looking for stocking stuffers? These decorative, yet simple Solar Powered Mason Jars from Brookstone are charged up by the sun during the day and then glow for hours at night, serving as the perfect night-light for a child or outdoor lighting for a patio or garden. If you’re the DIY type, you even make your own!

The 14-in-1 Educational Solar Robot Kit—Batteries not included, or needed! The 14-in-1 Educational Solar Robot Kit can be made into 14 different robot modes that can move on both land and water, and best of all, it’s powered by sunlight. And what better way to teach kids about renewable energy than buying them a solar-powered toy?


Gifts that pay you back

Holiday Gifts that Keep on Giving

We all agree that the holiday season is the “Most Wonderful Time of the Year”, but it’s also quite stressful finding that perfect gift. Why not make at least one of your gifts one that gives back by saving your family and friends some hard-earned cash?

Here’s a guide for presents that will save money, energy and the environment.

Vampire Labs Cell Phone Charger—The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that unused electronics can make up as much as 10 percent of your monthly utility bill when they’re plugged in. Protect a loved one from these “energy vampires” by giving them a cell phone charger that automatically shuts off when the phone is fully charged, like this one from Vampire Labs.

Nest Learning Thermostat—Programmable thermostats have seen a massive boost in popularity this year and are one of the most effective and easy ways to cut down on energy use. These thermostats allow you to easily set up schedules for your heat and A/C to cycle down when they aren’t needed, like when you’re away from your home. Taking advantage of effective heating and cooling schedules can save as much 5% go 15% a year on your heating bill. The Nest Learning Thermostat does the work for you by adapting to your temperature preferences and even has a remote access option to manage the temperature settings from a smartphone, tablet, or laptop.

Keen Home Smart Vent—If you like the idea of a smart thermostat than you’ll love the Keen Home Smart Vent, which helps homeowners make their homes more comfortable by intelligently regulating airflow to help heat and cool individual rooms. Like the Nest Thermostat, homeowners can control Smart Vents from their smartphones and tablets. The built-in temperature and pressure sensors allow the vents to monitor the health of your HVAC system and automatically open or close to increase or reduce airflow to a given room. The Keen Cloud also enables every vent in a home to communicate with each other to automatically regulate airflow as a system.

Plumen Designer Light Bulbs—Light bulbs have come a long way, and now there’s no need to sacrifice style for practicality with Plumen Designer Light Bulbs that are both beautiful and energy efficient. Each bulb uses 80% less energy than standard blubs, with a lifetime of about eight years. Considering that a single 60W traditional incandescent costs $4.80 a year on average, this is a great option for those looking to save on energy costs anywhere they can.

ENERGY STAR Appliances—If you’re looking to purchase a big-ticket item, be sure to check out ENERGY STAR for the most energy efficient brands. Appliances account for about 13% of your household’s energy costs, and replacing outdated appliances with energy efficient products could save you money. For example, replacing an outdated home entertainment system with new ENERGY STAR models could save you more than $200 over the life of the products.


The best gift is solar

The Best Green Present of All?

No matter what, your loved ones will be happy with the gift you give them. But, getting them a present that is easy to use and energy efficient is a good way to go this holiday season. Best of all, it will make your friends, family and the environment happy and healthy.

While these gifts are awesome in their own right, there’s actually an even better gift for those ready to live a cleaner and more affordable lifestyle—solar power for your home.

When you’re done shopping for family and friends this year, why not consider giving yourself a gift with a free solar inspection from our team of professionals?

If you’re already a Direct Energy Solar customer, how about scheduling a free solar consultation for your friends and family? They’ll thank you repeatedly as they benefit from decades of lower electricity bills and smaller carbon footprints.

As an added bonus, they’ll also have more money to spend on your holiday gifts every season.

Are you familiar with Direct Energy Solar’s Referral Program?