Black Friday: Greener Gifts and Holiday Tips from Energy Star

imagesIt’s “Black Friday,” the day after Thanksgiving which in the USA has somehow morphed into the day to begin holiday shopping. (No judgements, we just aren’t going to go there!) Many stores oblige and encourage you to come on in, by offering special “holiday sales and amazing deals” on items that might induce you to visit and stay a while.

es_logoAs we always remind our Climate Mamas and Papas at this time of year, consider giving the gift of time with a loved one or something you have made or created. A gift shouldn’t be measured by the monetary value it holds, but rather by the sentimental and thoughtfulness that went into considering it for a special person. We will have much more to say as Giving Tuesday approaches next week, but that being said, and in honor or Black Friday we wanted to share with you some ideas that Energy Star has shared with us as part of their Do 1 Thing Energy Star Tip ideas!


Electronics often find their way to the top of the holiday wish list. Make sure you look for the ENERGY STAR label to give your loved ones the gift of energy efficiency in addition to the latest and greatest in technology and features! Saving energy reduces carbon pollution, so these are purchases you can feel especially good about.

Here are ENERGY STAR’s gift picks for 2013:

Televisions: TVs are at the top of many holiday wish lists, and this year there are more reasons than ever to look for the trusted blue label when shopping. Televisions that have earned the ENERGY STAR are on average more than 25 percent more energy efficient than conventional models, and come with all of the latest technology that you are looking for this holiday season. The label can be found on TVs of every size, with features like 3D, streaming capability, internet connectivity and both OLED and LED technology.

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Audio: Is your loved one asking for a soundbar or new speakers this year? According to the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), home audio sales are expected to grow at double-digit percentage rates this year. Make sure that you help your loved one save energy, save money and protect the environment by looking for audio equipment that has earned the ENERGY STAR. AV equipment that meets ENERGY STAR qualifications are up to 60 percent more efficient than conventional models.

Blu-Ray Players: According to CEA, this year is expected to be the first in which Blu-Rays outsell DVD players. If this gift is on your list, be sure to look for the ENERGY STAR. Certified Blu-Ray players are on average 45 percent more efficient than conventional models.

Computers: Does someone on your list want a new computer for the holidays? Look for the ENERGY STAR and help your loved one save energy and the environment every time they log on. An ENERGY STAR certified computer will use between 30 to 65 percent less energy than a standard model on average. Enable your computer’s power management feature and save up to $90 a year!

ENERGY STAR Battery Chargers: You can also look for the ENERGY STAR on battery-powered tools and appliances. Products ranging from cordless drills to electric lawnmowers and shavers come with chargers that carry the ENERGY STAR. On average, ENERGY STAR certified battery chargers use about 30 percent less energy than conventional models.

Game Consoles: Gaming systems are always big sellers during the holidays. The best thing about this year’s models is their ability to go to sleep—just like your computer—entering a low power sleep mode when not in use for game play or streaming videos. This is an improvement that will reduce your energy use without reducing the excitement of video game play, and help your family save money long after the holidays are over.

LED Light Bulbs: A perfect stocking stuffer, ENERGY STAR certified LED bulbs deliver leading energy efficiency and can have a lifespan of over 20 years. A single light bulb that has earned the ENERGY STAR can save $95 in electricity costs over its lifetime.

Saving energy with ENERGY STAR certified home entertainment products helps protect the climate. A home equipped with TVs, set-top boxes, a Blu-Ray player and a home-theatre-in-a-box that have earned the ENERGY STAR, can save more than $330 over the life of the products. If each TV, DVD player, and home theatre system purchased in the U.S. this year earned the ENERGY STAR, we would prevent more than 2.2 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions every year, equal to the emissions from more than 200,000 cars.

ENERGY STAR 2013 Holiday Tips

shutterstock_25218307With all the feasting, traveling, and shopping that come with the holiday season, the most wonderful time of the year is more wasteful than most of us would care to admit. You can cut back your household energy waste and help fight climate change with these energy-saving holiday tips from ENERGY STAR:

Save Energy Festively with ENERGY STAR Certified Decorative Light Strings: Holiday lights that have earned the ENERGY STAR use 50 percent less electricity than conventional incandescent light strings, are more durable than other light strings, and are cooler to the touch for little fingers. They’re available in a variety of colors and sizes.

An Easy Step to Save More Energy: With all of these holiday ideas, remember that unplugging electronics once they are charged, as well as turning them off when they are not in use, will deliver energy savings. Plugging electronics into a power strip makes this easy. More advanced power strips even let you designate “always on” status for products that need to maintain a network connection (like your modem/router or pay TV set-top box), while powering off other products so you only use the power you need.

Recycle Old Electronics: If you bought a family member that new game console, phone, or Blu-ray player they’ve been pining for, make sure to reuse or recycle your old device. For more information on how to safely recycle electronics, including cellphones, computers, and TVs, visit

Support Energy-Efficient Travel: If you are traveling for the holidays, you can book your lodging with help from TripAdvisor’s GreenLeaders program, developed in partnership with ENERGY STAR. Qualifying hotels have been evaluated on eco-friendly practices including energy efficiency, linen and towel re-use, recycling and composting, solar panels, electric car charging stations and green roofing.

Wrap Sustainably: Wrap gifts in recycled or reused wrapping paper or newspapers.

Need more gift ideas? Check out the ENERGY STAR Product Finder to find the most efficient products for you and your family. While you’re online, don’t forget to take the ENERGY STAR Pledge and let EPA help you change the world! The ENERGY STAR website has dozens of ideas to help you and your loved ones save energy, money and the environment. Join the millions of Americans who have already joined the movement!

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