Millions of innocent-looking little chargers are sucking energy even when not charging – just because they’re plugged in. A recent note from Seattle City Light illuminated this scenario:
They’re called energy vampires. Those black-box plugs that charge cameras, cell phones, toys and tools suck power even when nothing is being charged. The average home wastes about $57 a year this way, or 650 kWh — electricity you’re paying for and getting nothing in return. Power strips can help. Plug chargers into power strips and then use the strips’ switch to cut power when you’re not charging.
I devised this simple way to drive a stake through the heart of some of the energy vampires in our household:
The charging station is on the wall behind the door into our room, so all the phones are in one spot.
If you’re the parent of a teen, there’s an added bonus here. We require that the kids’ cell phones get turned off and put on a charger before they head for bed at night. It’s part of our continuing effort to manage cell phone use and curb the temptation to send and receive text messages at all hours of the day and night. We also – unapologetically – collect cell phones from all kids who stay here overnight. Now we’ve collected all the household phone chargers in our room, and there’s only one place to check before lights out. We turn off the plug strip in the morning, and those little vampires sleep all day.
It’s a win-win: everyone can enjoy a better night’s sleep and be a little bit greener in the process. Ba da bing…