Last night, I was making my holiday travel arrangements, when it dawned on me that the holiday shopping season will officially gear up next Saturday—probably at 12:01 when Halloween is officially over. I’ve never been much of a planner when it comes to the holidays, but this year, with the economy in the tanker, I’m trying to get a head start so I don’t get a single massive bill in January.
Which leads me to my next few weeks’ posts—ideas for green gift-givers that don’t come across as preachy or judgmental but can still lead the giftee down a greener path. Honestly, who wants another compact fluorescent bulb, reusable shopping bag or travel mug silently reminding them that they’re not as green as they could be?
My first pick is an expensive but super-cool techie gift that I already bought for myself—the Amazon Kindle. Designed as an e-book reader, this gadget also has a wireless connection that allows you to download not just books but newspapers, magazines and blogs as well. I bought mine for superficial reasons (I love to read the newspaper but hate lugging it around and getting black ink all over myself, my bag and anything else the paper rubs up against). And the Kindle's pretty light; I'd say it weighs the same, if not less than, a paperback. Then, after purchasing it, I read a report that wirelessly downloading a year’s worth of newspapers saves 520 pounds of paper, or about 3 trees every year. And the device has a removable battery, so when it dies, you can replace the battery alone—not the entire thing (ahem, Apple, you could learn a thing or two…)
If you’ve got an obsessive reader on your list who’s leery of ditching the comfort of print for something so cold as electronic ink, you can stress the money savings: If she buys a new book every two weeks at $20 a piece (easy to do if you love hardcovers), she’ll save $250 a year, since Amazon sells all their e-books for $10. And that $50-a-month New York Times subscription is a mere $14.
Plus, the cool factor is unbeatable. Even Oprah’s jumped on board.
Kindles sell for $359 on amazon.com.