Thursday, July 29, 2010

Vampire Energy is not Green

Our Daily Green has a confession to make. I am a vampire. Before you start lining up for my autograph or see if my skin sparkles in the sun, I do not mean the kind of pop culture icon that is on the best seller list or filling the movie theaters. No, I'm a much less glamorous sort of vampire.

While I consciously and diligently avoid plastic, hang my clothing to dry on the line, use cloth napkins, and make other ecofriendly choices, my computer never shuts down, I often have my cell phone charger plugged in, and though I rarely print anything out on paper, my printer is always on. These instant-on appliances and gadgets can account for up to up to 10% of a household's annual energy bill.  

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, nearly 3/4s of the energy used to power electronics is used when the appliances and products are switched off.  

Examples of home energy vampires include: 

  • Laptop/Netbook chargers

  • TVs

  • VCRs, DVD players, DVRs

  • Speakers and Audio Receivers

  • Phone chargers, answering machines

  • Printers, Scanners, Fax machines

  • Routers

  • iPod and MP3 Chargers

  • XBOX, Playstation, Wii, and other gaming systems

  • PSP, Nintendo DS, and portable gaming chargers

  • Electronic toys and handheld devices
To calculate your vampire power usage, a free app is available from App Shopper,  Just make sure you unplug the charger when you're not calculating or charging your phone.

Solutions are much more simple than a wooden stake through the heart or a silver bullet. A few simple ideas include unplugging unused chargers, using power strips to turn off appliances when not in use, and (sigh) turning off the computer.

Do you have any other painless ways to avoid energy vampires?

1 comment :

Elena White said...

Great post, Kim, especially the (free!)Vampire Power Calculator App.

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