No Planet B – Tip #1
There is no Planet B… so we’ve got to take care of what we have now… and the little things add up so here’s tip #1: Eliminate or decrease Vampire (or ghost) power usage. Vampire energy is the energy that’s used when appliances are in “standby” or are not being used at all but still pulling enery, i.e. the Microwave (remember the little clock?), the little red light on your TV that tells you it’s off (cuz we’re too dumb to see there’s no picture, huh?) or continuing to leave items being charged plugged in even after they’re charged.
I noticed in Scotland that the outlets had a switch that turned that outlet on and off. The purpose? To save energy – especially the vampire kind that suck energy even when not in use! See the switch in the middle?
It wasn’t just in one or two places… they were everywhere… so when I returned I tried to find them here in America. No luck. There are power cords of course.. but they’re so unsightly (don’t you agree?).
So here’s what I got:
1. This device cost $9.99 on Amazon.com… it’s called a Belkin Conserve Outlet. The cool thing? It’s got a built in timer for 1/2 hour, 3 hours or six hours. I set it for 3 hours, push the button on top and use it to charge my phone. After 3 hours, it automatically switches off and I save about six hours of energy and who knows how much vampire energy. WIN!
2. This next device is called the Smart Strip Autoswitch and you can buy it on Amazon.com for $24.18. Yes, it’s a surge protector but it also saves energy by allowing your to completely switch off your equipment (no vampire energy hog!). For example, I use it for my TV, cable, surround sound set up. I use the TV in the primary switch (blue slot) that when it is turned off it automatically turns off anything that’s not plugged into the red plugs (like my surround sound receiver and subwoofer)… Not only does it turn them off no energy will get to them thus decreasing the slow leak of energy by vampires). I keep the cable box plugged into the red plug which never goes off (because it takes 10 minutes to reboot). Cool, eh? I think so.
3. I’m a nerd and this will not necessarily save you money but it will amaze your fellow nerdy friends! It’s called a Kill-a-watt. You plug whatever you’d like to measure into the device and then plug the device into the wall. It will tell you how many watts or joules the appliance uses. Love love love this…
So what about you? What can you do to decrease your Vampire Energy use (and save some money along the way)?