Cool gift ideas that save energy (and do a world of good)

(BPT) - When checking your holiday list, you’re searching for gifts that inspire joy and delight, and electronic items often fit that description. But what if that gift also happens to have a positive impact on the recipient’s life and the world at large? In these difficult times, many of us have a greater appreciation for the things that protect the health of the planet for everyone.

Whether you’re shopping for a shiny new appliance or gadgets to make someone's life easier during quarantine, here's how your gift can do a world of good: Look for products that have earned the ENERGY STAR label. These are independently certified to use less energy than standard products, which means energy bill savings and a cleaner environment.

To inspire you, here are a few holiday shopping list ideas:

Cool savings on the hottest electronic devices: Did you know the average household owns 24 consumer electronics products? The more you invest in items designed to save energy, the more the savings will rack up. That's especially important now, as families use multiple electronics for work and school. For catching up on favorite shows during times of social distancing, tablets use four times less energy than streaming to a laptop and 15 times less than a desktop computer. An energy-efficient sound bar offers a sleek solution to achieving that rich stereo effect, but uses 70% less energy than a conventional model.

A smarter solution to save heating costs: Now that more people are spending time at home, they’re spending less on dining and gasoline. However, home energy costs have definitely skyrocketed. Smart thermostats take the guesswork out of maximizing energy efficiency, and choosing an ENERGY STAR certified smart thermostat means savings you can trust. Were everyone to make the switch, we’d save 56 trillion BTUs of energy and $740 million a year, offsetting 13 billion pounds of annual greenhouse gas emissions.

Appliances with noticeable cost savings: Even when the purchase price is nice, don’t overlook this hidden cost of owning appliances: The cost of operating the product. So, if you’re eyeing a new washer dryer set as the perfect holiday gift, make sure it’s energy efficient. You’ll feel good helping your loved one realize more than 20% savings on their electric bill while using one-third less water compared to the standard models.

A bright idea for stocking stuffers: Here’s a small gift that can light up their lives and save some serious bucks. A single energy-efficient light bulb can save more than $50 in electricity costs over its lifetime. If each American home replaced just a single bulb to one that earned the ENERGY STAR certification, we’d prevent more than 7 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions.

Now that you know how ENERGY STAR-certified appliances and devices can do a world of good, for the recipient as well as our planet, be sure and check out the handy gift guide by visiting energystar.gov/holiday.