Early Ideas for Green Holiday Shopping

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

It’s not even the official end of summer yet, and already the Christmas decorations are beginning to appear in some of the big box retail locations throughout the United States and worldwide. With much of the global economy still mired in a prolonged recession, retailers are nevertheless optimistic that the 2010 Holiday shopping season will show growth compared with last year. The following is a quick look at some of the early trends emerging amongst retailers who appear to be trying new, eco-friendly tactics to increase market share.

A growing industry in the last decade has been the “green” movement. With an increasing number of home owners and businesses turning to solar energy, and more and more drivers opting for hybrid vehicles, there has also been growth in smaller eco-friendly items like LED light bulbs. Until this point, a major obstacle to more robust growth in sale of these products has been high price points. However improving manufacturing techniques and advances in technology are changing all of these. Home Depot locations are reportedly now selling 40-Watt replacement LED light bulbs for less $20. This is less than half of what consumers were paying just a few months ago.

While Ikea locations and other large big box stores are traditionally notorious energy hogs, a new store planned for Centennial, Colorado (near Denver) will reportedly be powered by geothermal energy. 500 feet underneath the store’s parking garage, over 130 pipes will pump liquid that help assist with the heating and cooling of the store during various times of the year. Depending on the success of this program, similar systems may be installed at other Ikea locations throughout North America. Surely these tactics will appeal to green-conscious consumers across the country.

Not to be left out of the discussion, as drought conditions are forecast for much of the globe over the next 6-12 months, Lowes locations continue to expand their selection of green-friendly water conservation products such as rain barrels. Available in multiple styles and sizes, rain barrels are designed to collect rain runoff collected by the gutter systems of the roofs of homes. The collected water can then be securely stored in the barrel or underground tank for use during the dry summer months. Nothing like says green like keeping your garden lush during a drought without using a single drop of public water.

The green movement appears to be here to stay, and in addition the aforementioned stores, there will likely be a plethora of retailers offering green products that would make great gifts for the environmentalist in every family.

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