Environmental concerns have always been up for discussion, but it was largely after Al Gore brought the discussion of global climate change into the mainstream that more people started to take notice. With the rising price of oil, the diminishing availability of fresh water, and the increasing problems with excessive carbon emissions, it's clear that we all need to take better care of this fragile planet of ours. We only have one planet, after all.
It's easy to point your finger at massive gas-guzzling SUVs and the giant polluting factories, but "green living" starts right at home. We can all do our part to help the environment and, yes, this applies to our ongoing infatuation with the latest technology too. Even gadget geeks can adjust their lifestyles to better accommodate the needs of the Earth. Below are seven ways that gadget geeks can go green. Are you doing your part?
1.Beware of Vampire Power
Like me, you may have a lot of gadgets and various technology plugged into the wall. In the living room, you may have an HDTV, an Xbox 360, a digital cable box, a Blu-ray player, a home theatre system, and a Nintendo Wii. Over by your desk, you may have a computer tower, an LCD monitor, a multifunction printer, an iPod charging dock, a modem, a wireless router, and a paper shredder. That's a lot of power.
You're usually told to turn off your electronics when they are not being used and this is a good way to conserve electricity. However, even when these items are turned off, they are still consuming energy. Known as "vampire power", this is the phenomenon where you have electronics in standby mode. That takes power and it is my greatest environmental sin.
One of the best things that you can do to minimize these effects is to simply unplug your TV, computer, and so on when they are not going to be used for an extended period of time. A great example of this is when you go to bed at night. That TV isn't going to watch itself during those eight hours or so. The easiest way to overcome vampire power is to have the majority of your electronics plugged into a surge-protecting power bar. This way, when you unplug the power bar, you effectively unplug everything that is connected to it.
2. Rechargeable Batteries for the Win
Alkalines for the FTL! Gadget geeks typically have a lot of things kicking around that require AA or AAA batteries. These include video game controllers, wireless mice, and digital cameras. You can do Mother Nature a huge favour by investing in a good set of rechargeable NiMH batteries.
This accomplishes several goals. Rechargeable batteries are ultimately better on your budget, because they can be used again and again. This is a lot cheaper than constantly buying new alkalines all the time. In like manner, you are not dumping dangerous chemicals into our landfills. Those alkaline batteries are very bad for the soil and the surrounding wildlife.
If you'd prefer, you can also think about dedicated rechargeable power solutions like the Nyko Energy Pak for the Wii Balance Board. If you've got to use batteries, use rechargeable ones.
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