Thursday, February 14, 2008

Carbon Fast for Lent: Cut Phantom Power Waste

The Second Thursday in Lent
“Say au revoir to standby. Check that all electrical equipment is switched off when not in use. The TV alone will save a hefty 20kg of carbon dioxide per year.”

Hmmm . . . does your TV have a standby option? Mine doesn't, just simple On and Off. But extrapolating out from Tearfund’s Carbon Fast wording here: I think we could also include electronics we think are off but actually continue to suck power since they remain plugged into an outlet and drawing current. (I read somewhere that cell phone chargers use gobs of power when they’re plugged into the wall, whether or not a phone is attached and charging.) Does the printer need to be plugged in 24/7 when I only use it every few days? Ditto for the DVD player, the aforementioned cell phone charger, and some rarely used lamps? One solution: plug these items into power strip, so you can easily turn the outlet itself on and off. Or just unplug infrequently used items.

Today’s mitzvah: Check out Grinning Planets handy post on “vampire power waste,” and check appliances today to make sure off means off.

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