Anyone who cares about energy independance or the Green Movement is likely wondering if there’s anything they can do to help. There is an easy thing all phone users can do: unplug their charger.
Just about all phone chargers have a horrible flaw: they use electricity whenever they are plugged into a power socket, whether they are connected to a phone or not. A typical one pulls 0.25 watts whenever it’s plugged in. Experts say that, on average, if a power charger is left in the wall constantly, about two-thirds of all the electricity it uses is wasted.
These are called “vampire chargers” because they are still sucking down power even they you think they are dead. And they waste about $3 billion dollars annually in the U.S.
California has passed a law to force device makers to stop using these inefficient adapters, but it won’t go into effect for another year. Rather than make special chargers just for California, hopefully phone makers will start offering the improved chargers everywhere in this country.
Admittedly, unplugging and re-plugging the charger every time you use it is a bit of hassle, but there are alternatives. One of these is to plug your charger into a powerstip with an on/off switch. When your phone is topped off, just flip the switch.
OnPlug is a small accessory with an on/off switch that you plug into a wall socket, and then plug your charger into it. It takes up much less space than a powerstrip.
The simplest option of all: companies offer chargers smart enough to shut themselves off when they aren’t needed. One example of this is the soon-to-be-released Bracketron GreenZero line, which starts at $25.
All of these will help save money over the long haul, help the enviromnent, and are just less wasteful.