Unplug for Climate Change

by Jodi Lee

We all know to turn the lights off when we leave a room, and turn the TV off when we aren’t watching. We know to choose low energy appliances, low flush toilets, and CFL lights. We know about all those ‘big’ ways to save the environment and reducing emissions.

But did you know that often the biggest energy drain in your home is from all the stuff you so conscientiously turned off? Huh? But it’s off, you claim. Yes, but is it still plugged in?

Vampire power or parasitic energy refers to the small bits of energy that continually flow through the plug and up the cord even though your appliance or doodad may be turned off. Until you unplug it, you have not completely stopped the flow of power.

Go tour your house. How many things are plugged in right now that you are not using? Microwaves, alarm clocks, toasters, coffee makers, toaster ovens, stereos, cell chargers, bed side lamps, blenders, kettles, air fresheners (get rid of these altogether), and the list goes on and on…

Shockingly, these small oversights are costing us billions of dollars and zillions of kilowatts. The ACEE(American Council of Energy Efficiency) and Energy Star estimates that this costs us between $1 to $3.5 BILLION dollars, and that’s in the US alone.

While it’s not practical to unplug your alarm clock every morning and reset it every night, it does make sense to unplug the toaster and coffee pot. As an added benefit, you use the switches less and your small appliances will last longer. Cell phone chargers are especially bad – in a family you may have several phones. Leaving the chargers plugged in with no phone on the other end drains power and increases your energy bill.

Consider unplugging more things if you go away for the weekend or extended vacation. Our TV has been known to be unplugged for weeks at a time in the summer. We’re not watching it so why give it energy?
This simple and easy action paves the way to a significant climate change solution. For more ‘going green’ ideas, tips, and strategies, take our free assessment

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