Things using less energy that are just plain better than the traditional alternative

Defining my terms:

Less energy – less conventional energy (electricity, fossil fuels) used at any part of the product life-cycle (embodied in production, transportation, use, disposal) – may use more human-energy

Just plain better – well – more efficient, more fulfilling, more enjoyable, happier, producing a greater quality of life, or less likely to annoy my cats

The list:

French press coffee plunger with organic fair-trade coffee

LLBean’s warranty – or any other company who will repair or replace without questions for the life of the product they sell you (I’ve used this one several times)

Other warranties – Hydro Flask, Droll Yankees bird feeders,  Jansport backpacks, and several other products from companies that take sustainability seriously

Home grown tomatoes

Blooming houseplants instead of cut flowers in winter: Christmas cactus, peace lily, kalanchoe,  African violets, orchids, and more

Mechanical (winding or self-winding) watches rather than those that use batteries

Small herb garden for basil, parsley, oregano, cilantro, catnip, and any other high-use herbs (much, much cheaper, too)

A growler of beer from your local brew-pub

Parks over large lawns, especially parks with swing sets and concrete animals

Deck of cards and a friend over computer solitaire

Hammocks – in general very low energy (and this link is a hint for my husband)

Dr. Bronner’s soaps (yes, it’s weird – but concentrated, high quality, and really can be used for the 18 uses listed on the package)

Windows and natural lighting

Home-made pizza

Buying small pieces by local artists

Denny’s doughnuts (of course)