November 20, 2008

Energy Suckers

Are you green? I try to be. I recycle even though the closest recycle drop-off spot is about 15 miles away. I say no to paper and plastic at the grocery stores - I use the canvas tote bags. I donate things that can be reused instead of just tossing them. My Mom and I even started a compost this year.

While you may be living a Green lifestyle (or trying to), did you ever stop to think about all those electronic items in your home? Your laptop for instance or your coffee maker still uses electricity when they aren’t in use. Sure, if you have one of those smart strips on everything you are ahead of the rest of us on this. Not everyone can afford to use those on everything though – they are pricey!

The biggest energy sucker in your home is most likely your video game console. I don’t have one right now, my last PS2 died and I haven’t replaced it or upgraded to the PlayStation 3 yet. I haven’t decided if I want to get the PlayStation 3 or a Wii. Xbox 360 Console is out for me because I don’t like the controller. PlayStation 3 would be a good choice because I could play all my PS2 games on it – and it has a Blu Ray DVD player. Wii would also be a good choice because it is the cheapest – and has Wii Fit and many other games I’d like to play.

So, you may be thinking that I’m crazy and your new PS3, XBOX360 or Wii couldn’t possibly use that much energy. Afterall, you don’t play it 24/7. Okay, some may play it 20/7 but that is beside the point.

According to a report the Natural Resources Defense Council is releasing on Wednesday, video game consoles consume a “staggeringly high” amount of energy. How much is staggeringly high? They use about as much as it takes to power the whole city of San Diego. Yeah, I’d call that staggeringly high.

Image from NRDC "Lowering the Cost of Play" report

As stated on this article, “There’s plenty of room for improvement. We can cut our nation’s electricity bill by more than $1 billion and avoid 7 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year, according to the report.”

So, how much can you save? Well, if you have a smart strip on your console you’d be saving money in the long-run. That is the best bet overall in my opinion. Also, if you have a Nintendo Wii instead of the PS3 or XBOX360, you will save 9x the energy. Another good habit to get into is turning your console completely off and unplugging it when you are not using it. It might take awhile to get use to this, but you will save enough money to buy 3-5 brand new games in the course of a year if you do this!


Nickie. said...

Hmmm...I didn't know my Xbox took that most energy to power it..I mean I knew it was bascially a small computer..but thats interesting. Thanks for sharing!

Ashlee K said...

Very informative article here. You should write for something and get paid girl!!!!! You'd be good at it!