Jon’s 2013 Green Gift Guide for Dads and more

Happy Holidays!

Dads can be particularly difficult to buy gifts for because they often have what they need and want really big things like a 3D Printer or a new computer.  Need an idea for what to get him? Looking for something he doesn’t have yet? Here’s my list of things for the dad that has almost everything:

Nest Protect CO & Smoke Detector & Nest Learning Thermostat – $130-250

nest gen2 thermostat showing 72 degrees

Directions for saving $100 below

Get him the new smart smoke & carbon monoxide detector along with the coolest energy saving thermostat on the market.  I’ve been Lusting for a Nest Thermostat since they came out and the most recent version is even better.

3D Printer – $299-699

3D Printers are really cool and there are tons of great reasons to get one.  My favorite reason is to be able to do cool repair projects with my children.

boy watching 3D Printer in action

Our son is fascinated by 3D printing (almost as much as his dad)

Here are the two printers that are most reasonable to consider gifting based on the price and quality.

LED Bulbs – $8-20

When shopping for energy saving LED bulbs there is a huge difference from the best bulbs and all the rest.  I have found the CREE LEDs (available exclusively at Home Depot) and the Philips LEDs to be the best as well as reasonably priced for LEDs.  Be sure when you purchase LEDs that you get the right color temperature.  I recommend Warm or Soft White (2700K) which are very similar in color to incandescent bulbs. Some of my preferred bulbs include:

  • CREE 60W equivalent
  • CREE 40W equiavalent
  • CREE 65W equivalent flood
    Tip: You can use Ebates to get a few percent back on purchases from Home Depot including the CREE bulbs which you can arrange to pick-up in Store for no charge.
Philips LED bulb

Philips 60W Equivalent

  • Philips 60W equivalent
  • Philips 40W equivalent
  • Philips 65W equivalent flood
    Tip: If you live in Massachusetts, or other states that provide point of sale rebates for energy efficient light bulbs, you might be able to get these bulbs at a significant discount through EFI.  See below for details on getting the discount through EFI. 

Copenhagen Wheel – Pre-order $699

Given him the extra boost up hills and enable him to ride to work or around town with this smart electric assist bicycle wheel.  I’ve been waiting for this product to hit the market for years and watched it through several design iterations at MIT’s Media Lab. If I didn’t already have an electric assist conversion on my bike, this is the one I would get.

Goal Zero Nomad 7 Solar Panel & Lighthouse 250 Lantern – $140-160

GoalZero Light House 250 Kit

GoalZero Light House 250 Kit

A portable solar panel and rechargeable lantern is especially perfect for the dad who likes to go out into the woods or away from the grid.  The lantern can recharge his smartphone and provide light all evening long.  I especially like that you can also recharge the lantern using the handcrank just in case you didn’t have the sunniest of days.

Solar Panel Cuff Links – $40-80

blue solar panel cuff links in brown paper box

Upcycled from broken solar cells

Give him the spark of renewable energy accessories.  These unique solar panel cuff links, available in sterling silver or silver plate, are the perfect complement to formal attire.  I should know, I make them 🙂

Details for ordering Nest or LEDs from EFI with utility discounts

Directions for ordering LEDs from EFI with utility rebates or Saving $100 on Thermostat  if available

  1. Visit (affiliate link)
  2. Find and click on your utility company in the Product Rebates section on the right-hand side about halfway down.
    1. Gas supplier for Nest savings – National Grid in MA offers the $100 discount, other gas companies may as well
      1. Click on the picture of the nest thermostat or Wi-Fi Thermostats in the Items list on the left-hand of the page.
      2. Add 1 or 2 thermostats to your cart and complete your purchase.  You will need your National Grid account number to complete the purchase and receive the discount.  There is a limit of 2 thermostat rebates per customer per year.  Shipping is extra and was about $12 last time I checked.
    1. Electric supplier for LED discounts – discounts vary by electric company
      1. Click on Light Bulbs on the left hand side
      2. Click on LED Capsules or LED Reflectors to pick the bulbs you want to purchase

I hope you find the perfect gift for that special guy in your life.  Here are some other great gift guides to help you find or create special gifts for everyone:

Happy Holidays!

If you liked what you just read, please signup below to receive our blog posts and tips via email.

You might like these:


  1. This is a great list!! My husband totally wants a 3D printer. I think that will be something we save up for eventually. I’ll keep the ones you recommend in mind 🙂

  2. This is an awesome list! I hadn’t even thought of a thermostat as a gift, but my hubby would love that. Anything that saves energy is something he’d love to have!

  3. I’ve never heard of a 3D printer. It sounds intriguing!

    Dads are tough to buy for! Do you have a list of stocking stuff ideas? I always struggle with those since I want to buy things he’ll use.

  4. I showed this list to my husband and he wants everything on it.

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.