Today while scoping around on greenUPGRADER (a great site by the way, you should check it out if you haven’t), a really smart article caught my eye about 5 simple things you can do to make a greener lifestyle. This ranged from turning off lights when you aren’t in the room, to saving water through the “shower bucket,” which is essentially keeping the water that normally drains when the faucet is getting warm before showers, and using that water for something else. These are all great ideas, but one of our favorites here at Emmer was excluded from Becky’s list: unplugging appliances!Yes, it can be an annoying task, and obviously there are some things that shouldn’t be unplugged all the time (like an answering machine; sort of loses its function, doesn’t it?), but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of appliances that, when you turn them off, could really be off. People don’t realize that when many of your appliances claim to be in an “off” mode, a lot of the time they’re in standby. When they keep sucking power from the grid, but aren’t actually in use, it’s said that these appliances are using “phantom energy,” which on average constitutes between 5-10% of the standard household energy consumption. Good Morning America quoted that this could resemble around $120 worth of electric payments each year!
We understand: “Why should I run around and unplug everything when it’ll save me maybe ten bucks a month!” It’s a reasonable complaint. But think of it this way: think of every person in the United States. Then imagine if every single one of those people unplugged their appliances when they weren’t in use. That’s a lot of energy.
Plus, there are easier ways to control the energy output. Put your computer, printer, scanner and all the other appliances in the office corner of your home on power strips. When you’re done using them, turn off the strip. Takes care of the waste! Or start small; when you unplug your cell phone, unplug the charger with it. Every little bit matters, and this could not only save you money, but it helps minimize your carbon footprint.
The moral of the story is this: do what you can, where you can and in the end we’ll all be walking around in a healthier, happier world. We’re trying our best to be smart builders; what are YOU doing?
Any other simple and green ways to be efficient every day? Let us know below!