Thursday, July 30, 2009

Unanswered Question

Recently I upgraded my cell phone to a new one. Of course I kept the phone and recycled it to a local charity. The day I got it, it needed to be charged, I used the car charger and accidentally left the cord plugged in in the car. My phone beeped and amazingly it was a message that I had left my charger plugged in. I also have a Sirius satellite radio in my truck which has a little screen on it to display songs and artists names. The screen is quite bright and glows at night.
So, obviously these things are using power, but what is their effect on the environment? To be honest with you I still don't know, even after hours of research. On the Internet you can find all sorts of ways to save energy, how to improve the world around us with simple steps, and even carbon imprint calculators (these are way cool). No where could I find out how battery operated car chargers are bad for the environment, which obviously they have some impact.
When using electricity in our homes, we are causing the power plants to work harder. This is where our natural resources are being used up. Things like light bulbs and paint can put dangerous emissions into our ozone. So is it a combination of both? Maybe my Dad knows, and if he does I'll share his opinions with you. I would also really love to hear from some of you if you have anything to say about this.
I was hoping to answer my own burning question on this post, but since I am unable to do so, and hope to do so soon, I am going to give you just a couple of the thousands of facts about electricity use and its impact on the world I found:
  • If each home in America would change one bulb to a compact fluorescent bulb it would equal enough power to light 3 million homes for 1 year. It would also save $600 million in annual energy costs and prevent greenhouse gases equal to the emissions of 800,00 cars.
  • Only 5% of actual power used by chargers (phone, computer, etc) is to charge the device, the other 95% of its power consumption is just being plugged in.
  • There are "greener" battery chargers, for instance solar (still no explanation as to exactly what traditional chargers do to the environment) available on the market today.
  • Leaving your computer screen on all the time costs you about $18 per month, let alone its annual impact on good old mother earth.
Like I said, these are just a few quick facts, the bottom line is that it is always best to unplug the device when not in use. If it even has a little glowing light or clock, it is using power and shutting it down will help the environment and help you reduce costs.
Have a miracle of a day!

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