Maybe I'm cheap but it really bugs me to waste money. Even at my income level, I can rationalize an excuse like "I'm a busy person. I can afford the extra dollars I have to pay for more electricity just to avoid the hassle of thinking about it, let alone doing something about it."
The stakes have become a little higher now. If we all continue to consume more and more energy at a time when there's global warming and an energy crisis looming, well, that's just being irresponsible.
No one has to get nutty about it. But I just read an article in the NYTimes, and it's not new news, but for some reason it finally sunk in.
How much energy are your electronic products consuming? Just by powering down your items or at least putting the system into a deep sleep can save you money and save the environment carbon spewing into the atmosphere.
Here are a couple of surprising tidbits:
-In the average home, 40 percent of all electricity used to power home electronics is consumed while the products are turned off. Add that all up, and it equals the annual output of 17 power plants. (Our local electric company just announced plans to construct another nuclear plant...great, no one does anything to solve the energy problem for the last 30 years and now our best fallback position is nuclear?).
-Products that idle in what the industry calls low-power mode, or lopomo, consumed about 10 percent of total electricity in California homes. (I always thought lopomo meant like 1%, but 10% is huge. I guess it’s just best to totally turn them off).
-Some of the larger big-screen TVs consume as much energy each year as a new refrigerator. (There’s a reason for the frig to be operating overnight, but the TV?)
Whether or not we turn things off entirely or keep them on or do nothing...they're all just habits, habits that were developed, and habits which can change. As with any bad habit, the question is do I care enough to change it? Is it just harmful for me or for everyone?
It’s going to be hard for me to change my computer/electronics habits. But now I realize it's not a victimless crime. It’s bad enough that I have a crappy hot water heater consuming excessive wattage—that’s going to have to wait till I have money to replace it. But this is something I can do today.
Maybe I’ll put stickies on everything that say “OOO BABY, BABY, TURN ME OFF.”