I don’t know about you, but apart from financing my holiday gift-giving, finding the perfect green gift has always posed a challenge. Here are five gifts that are sure to enthrall your friends and family members of the geeky persuasion, with an added dash of eco-consciousness.
Still not cheap, but the device will pay for itself over time if the recipient is a voracious reader (Kindle editions are generally cheaper than paper ones). Also, you vastly reduce the emissions, since logging, bookmaking and shipping are replaced by data centers and wireless networks used to store and transmit e-books instead.
Barnes and Noble’s Nook was up for consideration, but it’s sold out for the remainder of the year. (What good is it if you can’t get your hands on it?) Plus, the effect of the unit’s LCD touchpad on battery life has yet to be experienced by consumers.
Green PC Gamer:
If you’ve been reading my Green IT coverage at GigaOM Pro (if not, go now!), then you know that I’ve been big on digital distribution and dematerialization this year. That’s why I love Steam.
I’ve gifted a few games this way, and let me just say, it rocks. Add the many weekend and special offers, and you can often score a great game at a great price. No boxes or CDs/DVDs, no waiting for the Fedex delivery person, near-instant gratification… What’s not to like?
Honorable Mention: Direct2Drive
Mobile Power User
Apple 13.3-Inch MacBook Pro – Amazon.com
I was very tempted to include a netbook, but chances are that a serious geek needs some serious horsepower. Netbooks are great for on-the-go Facebook-ing and Gmail-ing, but podcasting, video editing and robust multitasking requires a little more oomph.
Apple’s newest MacBook Pros offers not only a laundry list of green credentials (PDF), but also peppy performance in a small and light form factor. And with Bootcamp, you can keep one foot in the OS X world and another in Microsoft’s polished Windows 7 realm. The only ding against it is the non-user replaceable battery.
There are fancier and newer ones from Black and Decker, but this is the granddaddy of them all. Rugged and dead simple to operate, these devices will open your eyes to how much electricity your supposedly ‘off’ electronics are consuming.
Until every home is outfitted with smart meter displays and smart appliances, this is the handiest and most cost effective way of slaying energy vampires.
I know, it’s a little odd to tout the Kindle and then recommend a magazine, but Make: is a fun and greatly entertaining guide to re-purposing all sorts of old electronics and household items that are gathering dust in your attic into clever and occasionally useful gadgets. This one is for the geek that likes to roll up her sleeves.
There are other green gadgets that are worthy of your consideration. Here are some more of my favorite green gift-giving guides this year.
10 Green Tech Gift Ideas for Black Friday – Earth2Tech
Green Gift Guide: Green Geek – TreeHugger
If you spot a great guide, shout out in the comments. Happy Holidays!
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