By Lina Younes

At home, recharging our mobile phones, MP3 players, portable game systems, and digital cameras seems to be part of our family daily ritual. We usually charge them right before going to bed. But when you come to think about it, these electronics stay in their respective chargers for hours after being fully charged. What a waste of energy.

Did you know that on average these portable electronics consume about 4 percent of the electricity in the home? When you add other household appliances, all these products account for more than 15 percent of household energy use. Did you know that these small electronics and other consumer appliances continue to use energy even when they are turned off? So, what are some simple ways to save energy in the home?

  • Well for starters, unplugging chargers while not in use can go a long way to saving energy!
  • If you are not going to be using your computer for over 20 minutes, turn it off.
  • Plug computers and other electronics to power strips. Switch the power strip off when not in use.

Becoming aware of these so called energy vampires is a good start to saving energy. So, what have you been doing to reduce energy consumption? We would like to hear from you.

About the author: Lina Younes has been working for EPA since 2002 and currently serves as Acting Associate Director for Environmental Education. Prior to joining EPA, she was the Washington bureau chief for two Puerto Rican newspapers and she has worked for several government agencies.

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