We all know someone in our lives who sucks the energy out of us….well this post is not about those people but the appliances that do the same thing. Maybe you have already heard about how much power all those TVs, PCs, and ACs use on ‘standby’ mode (that’s when they’re not on, but still have a glowy light saying ‘turn me on and I’m ready!’)? Equally bad are all the rechargable doohickeys, like iPods, cell phones and electronic organizers. Yes, it’s good that they’re rechargable, but not that great when you read that they waste 1/2 the power they consume!
The UK is now outlawing standby mode on new products, going back to the (sensible) old-fashioned days when you turned something off and it was actually off, and not sucking energy for no good reason. Crazy stuff, that!
What to do about all this waste? Throw out all your stuff and live in a monastery? (Not so much- even monks listen to MP3’s these days) There’s a really simple solution: buy a couple (or a few) power strips with on/off switches. Plug all your gear into it. I have one for my TV/DVD/Stereo/Rabbit Ears. When I watch a movie, I turn the whole shebang on at the power strip. When I’m done I turn the strip off. It’s way too annoying to individually plug and unplug stuff into the wall. Doing the same thing for a computer set-up and other areas where there are a bunch of things plugged in will save you a bundle on energy, and keep CO2 out of the atmosphere. There’s nothing worse than using energy for nothing!
If you want more details, read the excellent article in the NYTimes, “I Vant to Drink Your Vatts” reprinted by the Chesapeake Climate Action Network. You can learn about the difference between ‘Wall Warts’ and ‘Vampires’ there. Fun!