Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Carbon Fast for Lent: Put a Stake through Vampire Power

“Address your standby habits — unplug mobile phone chargers and any unused appliances. Eight per cent of electricity consumed at home is from appliances that we aren’t even using (source: www.climatecare.org).” The Carbon Fast for Lent

Vampires! Our homes are full of items that are never fully shut off. Instead, they exist in an intermediate stand-by state, ready to leap into action when we need them. These “vampire power” appliances are convenient, but they suck a constant flow of energy and cash on your electric bill. For example. according to the Economist, the clock on the microwave uses more power than the microwave uses to cook food. This isn't because the clock itself is such an energy hog, but because the clock is running 24/7, while the microwave is only in use a few hours a week. At least the clock serves a function. This isn’t the case for the printer that sits idle most of the time; the DVD player that only gets used a few times a week; or the modem and router that provide a constant high-speed connection while we’re asleep at night and at work during the day.

Today’s mitzvah: Unplug idle appliances and electronics that don’t have a clock or other settings that will get thrown off. Going away for the weekend or longer? Consider unplugging everything that isn’t essential in your absence, including the router and modem, TV, etc.

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