Lessen The Environmental Impact of Your Electronics
1. Measure. Measure your usage with our handy energy use calculator. While consumer electronics typically account for just 12 to 15 percent of a home’s energy use, every little bit you don’t use saves you money and reduces energy demand. Studies have also found the more you understand about your consumption the less energy you’re likely to consume. Home energy management devices can also reduce energy consumption significantly, so ask your utility about this equipment that can lead to great savings.
2. Be efficient. Unplug chargers and devices when not in use or plug them into a new eco-friendly power strip. With more advanced devices, use their energy efficient settings, and make sure to turn your device off like you do with the lights! Opt for electronics that are geared toward saving energy, like “smart” thermostats. These handy devices have the power to learn your schedule and the temperature at which your house should be at different times of the day. Some models even have the capability of connecting to your smart phone or tablet, making it easier to manage the temperature of your home even when you are away.
3. Look into new, more efficient technology. Did you know the energy efficiency gains with electronics being made are staggering? The amount of power needed for LCD TVs fell 63 percent from 2003 to 2010, and declined 41 percent for plasma TVs from 2008 to 2010. Look for the ENERGY STAR label and ask about new labels for TVs with detailed energy use information.
4. Consider convergence. Years ago some of us had a cell phone, personal digital assistant (or PDA), digital camera and camcorder, whereas today we just have a smarthphone serving all those functions. Smaller, more efficient and very powerful devices consume less power and require far less resources to manufacture, ship and recycle. So consider an all-in-one printer, smartphone or other new devices instead of four older devices.