Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Green product of the week

I discovered a new product that has me singing its praises: The Belkin "Conserve" surge protector. This is no run-of-the-mill surge protector. This remote controlled beauty has two plugs on the strip that stay active and do not power down when you turn off the power -- which means your Internet router or DVR doesn't have to be plugged into a separate outlet or strip.

I have a bunch of stuff plugged into my current power strip, which I never turn off because my router and phone are plugged in to it. By replacing that strip with this new verison, I can power down everything else -- and I won't even have to lean down to do so! The remote is an awfully convenient feature to this money and energy saver. Of course, you have to shell out the initial money for it, but it will pay for itself before long. I found some online for as low as $24.

You may not think keeping certain things plugged in uses much energy, but I was surprised to find out differently. Cell phone chargers, curling irons, hair dryers, toasters, coffee makers, etc. all suck up electricity when plugged in...even when not in use! The answer to not having to pay for vampire power -- UNPLUG!! It's a bit inconvenient, but we now unplug everything in our kitchen (except the refrigerator, stove and dishwasher). We also started unplugging our clothes washer when we're not using it.

But if you're not a fan of unplugging, buy power strips with off buttons and turn the whole strip off when you're not using the appliances. Or invest in the Belkin "Conserve" strip and just click it off with the remote. Of course, the remote requires batteries, so there is a small trade-off there.

Other things to think about: hibernate your computer/laptop when you walk away for awhile. Turn it off when you won't need it for a longer period of time. Unplug it when you're done for the day, or night.

Unplug clock radios located in guest rooms. Why suck up electricity in rooms where visitors are sporatic?

Everything in the bathroom should be unplugged when not in use -- hair appliances, heaters, electric razors, etc.

Stereos and radios don't need electricity feeding into them when no one's listening to them.

Charging stations. Vampire power loss that's often overlooked.

Teach your children to turn off power strips...but do not encourage them to unplug things, as their little fingers could touch prongs and they could get shocked or burned.

Slay the vampires in your home...and watch your electric bills go down.

Keeping it green,


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