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Electronics - Around the House

Cell phone chargers, computer strips, and pretty much anything that looks like a “wall wart” continue to draw power even if the device is off or no longer connected. It’s called phantom energy. Unplug them when not in use or look for energy efficient power strips that know when the device is turned off so that it only draws power when needed.

Phantom loads are also the clocks, timers, and instant-on appliances that could consume about 10 to 15% of your household energy. Do you really need a clock on every appliance? Purchase appliances that don’t have a clock or instant “on” feature.

There seems to be an endless amount of old cell phones and computers. Most cities have electronic recycling programs or look into the manufacturer and they may also have a recycle program. Better yet, give the phone to someone who might need it or put it in your car. Cell phones in Canada can make emergency calls without a plan.

Buy electronics like cameras with a built in battery. They last longer, cost less (since you don’t have to keep buying new batteries), and are better for the planet. If you do use conventional batteries, make sure they are also re-chargeable. They might cost a little more initially, but pay for themselves really quickly.

Energy Star electronics are always a great choice. If you are in the market for a new flat screen television, choose the more energy efficient LCD instead of plasma.

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