J500 Media and the Environment

Get your share of $3 billion dollars! (not a scam!!!) by meganr21
February 27, 2009, 12:49 am
Filed under: Society + Media | Tags: , , ,

Lately I’ve taken to listening to planet green podcasts and one recent topic called ‘Save Electricity and Money’ struck a cord with me. Not only is it really easy to make a difference, you can save money too.

 A Cornell University energy expert estimates that vampires cost Americans $3 billion a year. No, not the pale, blood-sucking, cape wearing ones who can’t stand the light of day – rather your appliances! So what are these vampires? They’re electronic devices that suck electricity even when they’re not being used. When I read this figure I took a look around my room and was ashamed when I realized I had 11 devices plugged into one wall.

Until I did some research I was like most people – under the impression that once a device is turned off, the electricity to that appliance is stopped. While that may be true for some gadgets (like my energy star printer), there are many culprits scattered throughout the average household that continue to suck vast amounts of energy, even when turned off. 

So how do you find these fugitive appliances? Simple – the Kill-A-Watt. The Kill-A-Watt is a cool gadget allows you measure the energy a device uses in standby mode and figure out how much it’s costing you each year.

Now that you know who your worst offenders are you can do something about them. If you can’t afford to by all new energy efficient appliances, Bits ltd has developed the Smart Strip, a power strip that cuts off the supply of electricity when an appliance is turned off. The Smart Strip will pay for itself within the first 6 weeks with electricity savings. It’s easy, in no time you’ll be slaying your vampires and saving yourself around $200 a year.

 -Megan Richards

thanks to global rooftop energy initiative for the picture


3 Comments so far
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I love this post! It is informative with an easy, inexpensive way to solve the problem of power sucking appliances. I think changing behavior is far more likely when addressed in a realistic manner rather than with scare tactics that turn people away. Good job!

Comment by christinaw09

I think that’s the aspect I really like about these planet green podcasts – they’re not all doom and gloom, they talk about new innovations that help decrease your footprint on the environment, and some of the changes are so easy to make and end up paying for themselves.

Comment by meganr21

This is one of the easiest things to do, but I’ve found that it’s one of the hardest things to convince other people to do. I have two roommates, and I always unplug the microwave. When I first started doing it, it was so funny to watch them punch the buttons on the front of the microwave as hard as they could and get so frustrated when it wouldn’t turn on.

I hate thinking that some aspects of greener living are lost causes for some people, but I don’t know how to approach people (even my roommates) about leaving unused things plugged in without sounding like their harping mother.

Comment by Lauren Keith

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