Power vamps

I was trolling around on the internet looking for Fun Facts About Bloodsuckers and came across the term “vampire” applied to household appliances that utilize standby power. This seems to apply to anything with clocks, status lights or other “instant on” features.  These days, most appliances larger than a toaster have something that glows or flashes, so the power drain adds up.

I usually keep my stereo and computer hooked into power bars with surge protectors, so it would be easy enough to turn everything off with one button. Sounds good:  be green, save money. Vampires, since they live enough years to see the long-term effects of pollution, will undoubtedly approve.

The down side is that all the electronics guys I talk to say that putting something like a VCR through the “power up” process each and every time it’s used is very hard on the machine – not to mention the inconvenience of resetting all its features.

I think there is some truth to this. I killed (staked?) a VCR when I was unplugging it all the time due to cord-chewing kittens. One day it just wouldn’t find the stations any more. In a similar vein, the guy who installed my cable modem insisted it should not be unplugged or it would disrupt some internal cycle.

So what to do, besides demanding manufacturers make more earth friendly stuff? I’ve been trying to research a bit, but can’t find an easy solution. I want to do the right thing environmentally, but I am loathe to damage my toys. 

I am finding plenty of OTHER interesting environmental tidbits. This site has some good tips:



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