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In Your Home

Interest: Sustainable Development

Purpose: Lifestyle Change

Under 5 mins.

Ever walk around your house and see a lot of your electrical outlets in use? Even items which are plugged in, and not being used, bleed some energy.

Called "standby" electricity loss because it's so often associated with electronics in standby or idle mode, it's also known as "phantom" or "vampire" electricity (for obvious reasons). Even turned off, many appliances keep drawing power.

The Department of Energy sets the energy loss at 5 percent to 8 percent of a single family home's annual usage, which is an entire month's energy bill. That's a national average; take a walk through your home and count the number of devices you have plugged in (don't forget the washing machine) and you may find that you're spending 25 percent of your energy bill to feed vampires.

Here are a few simple ways to help conserve energy:

1. Check your home to see if you have any lights or appliances plugged in that you’re not using. Unplug them.

2. For appliances that you use rarely, say once a week, unplug them when they’re not in use.

3. When not actively charging a phone or other device, unplug the charger from the electrical outlet.

To learn about more ways to live cleanly, check out Bioneers, an innovative nonprofit organization that highlights breakthrough solutions for restoring people and planet. http://www.bioneers.org

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