Electricity, My Pocketbook, and the Environment (part 2)


Turning off the Light Bulbs, TV, and Pull the Plug on Chargers

Mobile Phone Chargers

It turns out that a cell charger uses quite a bit of power just being plugged in. That means when the phone is fully charged, well, every minute after that is a waste of electricity. The power drain (http://www.treehugger.com/culture/treehugger-homework-unplug-your-cellphone-charger.html) is amazing and sickening at the same time.

Today I’m timing my phone to see how long it takes to charge and then unplug it. Once I know how long it takes, I’ll be able to set a kitchen timer and then unplug the phone (without constantly checking it). Some phones will chime an alert when fully charged but being hearing impaired, I like to have a ballpark estimate. I just love kitchen timers, not sure how much difference it will make but willing to try. I sure won’t be leaving it plugged in overnight anymore! I also found a bunch of solar chargers on Amazon.com and am snapping one up an extra to use on the go, at work, and when camping.


We have been trying to adopt new habits that will cut our dependence on the public electrical grid. So far it has been hard to remember all the new things to do each day and we are constantly reminding each other when we slip up. But I know it will get easier and each new habit will become a way of life.

The habit for today is for me to start unplugging things when I am done using them. I have to tell you that this one delights my Hubs, AKA “Mr. Safety.” He would unplug the fridge when I wasn’t looking if I wasn’t careful. Ha! No, really, he has been trying to get me to unplug for years.

Play Detective 

Looking for ways to cut the electricity has become a bit of a CSI experience in our home. I’ll find myself standing in front of an appliance, scratching my head, and wondering exactly what it costs to operate. Then, there is my trusty new friend, the Kill-A-Watt meter to measure the usage and set the issue to rest.

Some things aren’t so simple to measure but yet we know they make a difference. Insulation, for instance, helps conserve but is difficult for homeowners to measure–without waiting for the fuel and electric bill.

Sadly, my home is an oldie and needs some attention in the insulation area. I found some great videos on YouTube.com that show it step by step. My hope is by bringing the insulation up to par we will reduce the number of times the furnace cuts on and off, thus saving electricity and biofuel. We may also be able to nix some of the electric wall heater use.


This one probably goes without saying, except we don’t actually DO it all the time.

You guessed it! Turning the lights out when we leave the room. When prompted, I always respond with something like, “I was going right back in there.”  The truth is I get pretty sidetracked, hence the kitchen times clipped to my collar. Ha ha ha.

Repeat after me: “I do pledge to make an effort to turn out the lights in the room as I leave. I agree to thank the person who reminds me and not to make up an excuse. I also agree to use daylight if overhead lighting is not needed.”

It doesn’t seem like much, but in my house, it’s huge. People can always tell when I’m home because the house is lit up like a Christmas tree. I go to one room for something and then flit off for something else. Before I know it, there are lights turned on in every room! And don’t even think about what happens if I need to run to do a quick errand. Oh, my! This could save me a ton of money.