There’s no way to deny it…we’re a culture of gadgets. We love our laptops, MP3 players, tablets, readers, headphones, digital cameras, DVRs, smart phones. The list just goes on. And whether it’s via plug or battery, all of these devices have one common need – power.
In fact, Treehugger.com has some pretty astounding figures related to personal gadget use:
1,400: The dollar amount the average American household spends on new electronics annually.
20-40: Number of gadgets the average American keeps on standby, that suck up energy even when turned off.
1%: The total percent of carbon dioxide emissions emitted each year from devices left on standby.
230 million: The number of products with battery charging systems currently in use in American homes and businesses.
Fortunately, there are some pretty easy ways to cut down on the amount of energy used by electronic devices.
Understand your gadget’s power needs. For some battery-operated electronics, it’s more efficient to use the battery completely down before charging. For others, the battery works more optimally if the charge is kept relatively high. Make sure you know how the battery works in each of your gadgets and use accordingly.
Embrace the wireless charge. There are so many cool new options when it comes to recharging your gadgets. From solar chargers to charging mats, it’s easy to find a way to keep your electronics going without using every outlet in your home.
Use your smarts when plugging it in. Well, at least use a smart power strip. Smart power strips work to reduce your power usage by shutting down power to products that go into standby mode.
When it comes to batteries, follow these three Rs: Recharge, Reuse and Recycle. Rechargeable batteries might be a bit more expensive, but will save you money in the long run. They also help keep waste out of landfills. And with the ability to recharge batteries via solar chargers, they are a much more green option. If you still prefer single-use batteries, take the extra step to recycle them.
Do your research and make sure the gadget your purchase has the most to offer for your needs. While it may completely shock you to hear this, your second generation smart phone works just as well as the newly released third or fourth generation. Unless your current gadget is on the fritz, try waiting it out and get the most possible usage out of it. It will save you money and reduce the number of unused electronics cluttering up our planet.
How many personal gadgets do you own? How do you try to make them more energy-efficient?