There are so many ways you can reduce your carbon footprint after you’ve done an assessment of your contribution. For the average person, shelter contributes nearly 20 percent of the total. That includes all the electricity you use in your home.
Certainly, you know about switching to CFLs and using electricity wisely. There is another simpler action you can take that will not only benefit the environment, but also save you some cash.
When Not in Use
Anything electronic in your home still draws a trickle charge of energy if you leave it plugged in. Depending upon the device, the electricity draw can add up. The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) estimates that the average home contains 24 electronic products.
The big items are your appliances. A furnace, for example, draws over 3,000 kWh of power each year, but it can be as high as 7,200 kW. Computer monitors, TVs and laser printers also use a great deal of energy, whether on or off. While it may be impractical to unplug some things like major appliances, you can save energy and cash by unplugging the devices you use infrequently or seasonally, like your air conditioner.
All Charged Up
There is even a simpler way to save. Once a device is charged, take it off the charger. A fully charged laptop, for example, uses up to 650 kWh of energy annually. Taking it off the charger reduces the amount of energy to less than 40 percent of that amount. It is also better for your laptop battery to let it fully discharge on occasion.
You can get similar savings from taking your smartphone or tablet off the charger once the device is fully charged. The same applies to any cordless power tools as well. If you’re concerned about battery life on your smartphone, you may want to consider getting a power-saving app or external charger to carry with you. You can set your device to notify you once it’s charged to remind you to unplug it.
Small actions like unplugging electronics or taking them off the charger can yield big results when it comes to your carbon footprint. It’s a painless and easy gesture for living green.