Standby buttons on many appliances use up to 90% of their normal power in standby mode
Figures show that 8% of the total electricity used in our homes comes from appliances left on standby.
In the UK this is the equivalent of around two power stations’ worth of electricity each year, and adds up to £740m a year of wasted electricity, according to the Energy Saving Trust (EST). Wasted energy from appliances left on standby is also responsible for 4m tonnes of excess carbon dioxide each year.
Standby buttons on many appliances use up to 90% of their normal power in standby mode.
Research from the EST found that 75% of us habitually waste high levels of energy on a daily basis by leaving appliances on permanent standby and leaving chargeable appliances plugged in, with up to 12 different gadgets left on standby or charging at home at any one time. And one in seven (16%) of us wrongly believes that turning appliances off uses more energy than leaving them on standby.
The biggest culprit is the stereo, which wastes £290m worth of energy and 1.6m tonnes of CO2 a year when left on standby. VCRs waste the second biggest amount of energy, followed by TVs, games consoles, mobile phone chargers, computer monitors, DVD players and set-top boxes.
The energy saved from recycling one aluminum can will run a TV for 3 hours.
Did you know that it takes more than 500,000 trees to make the newspapers that Americans use in one Sunday.
Did you know that every ton of paper that’s recycled saves 380 gallons of oil?
The energy saved by recycling a single aluminum can, or one glass bottle, could operate a television set for three hours, or light a 100-watt light bulb for four hours. If everyone on campus recycled 1 glass bottle or aluminum can, we would avoid adding 9.6 metric tonnes (21,000 pounds) of CO2 to the atmosphere.
Steering clear of plastic shopping bags can remove 200,000 metric tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere.
The average American office worker uses 500 disposable cups a year, or 1.4 per day. Invest in a reusable coffee mug and save 25 cents at coffee shops on campus.
Testing has found that washing at 30°C rather than 40°C uses 38% less energy. This could cut your energy bills by up to £23 a year, based on four washes a week. And if we all made this change, the UK could reduce our CO2 footprint by the same amount as taking 400,000 cars off the road. Going down to 20°C reduces energy use by 62% – or the same as taking 634,000 cars off the road. If the past few months have taught us anything, it’s that if we can support each other and work together, we can make a real difference. And you’d be surprised how much impact a seemingly small change can make.
What critics of conscious consumption and citizen action don’t understand. Over time, taking small steps to lower your carbon footprint forges the general habit of behaving in a climate-friendly way. And the development of that perspective is a crucial step toward greater political engagement on the issue. Conscious consumption is neither “irrelevant” nor merely a way to advertise our virtue. The environmental impact of seemingly insignificant voluntary actions is far greater than most people realize, for two related reasons. First, they have the power to shift how the people around us behave. Second, and more important, they change who we are, making us much more likely to support the large-scale policies needed for progress. Conscious consumption alone certainly can’t stop the warming threat, but it’s an essential step on our path forward. It creates cascading changes in social behavior, as well as deeper changes in how we view the world. Conscious consumption serves ultimately as a way to build citizens who favor strong climate legislation, who write checks to politicians willing to take up the cause and who knock on doors to help those politicians get elected.