Monday, August 31, 2009

Charging Station Saves Time, Money and Planet

I found a small space in which to collect ALL of our charging devices - for cellphones, SoniCare toothbrushes, rechargable batteries - and plunked them next to a power strip, creating a sort of "Charging Station".

The US Department of Energy recommends unplugging battery chargers when not in use and this is easier to remember when they are organized into a charging station, rather than scattered all through the home. Now whenever we need to charge something, we can plug the charger into the strip and flip the strip on. When nothing's charging we turn the strip off so we don't have to bother unplugging the chargers.

I've long had a similar arrangement with my computer: a charging strip supplying the computer itself, the internet modem/router, a printer (when I had one - which I don't any longer), and my computer desk lamp. It was a convenient was to ensure I was powering the entire computing complex down when I was done for the day (which is the topic of this week's Save The World Wednesday - thanks!). Extending the idea to chargers is not exactly genius work but it has some advantages that make it well worth the minor effort:

  • No more time wasted searching for the chargers
  • Less energy wasted with chargers plugged in and unused
  • Less money wasted because less energy wasted. Admittedly, this is not a huge amount of energy and money, but every little bit helps. According to the US Department of Energy; waste is simply irrational.
  • We had to locate a convenient place to keep all our chargers. (Frankly, this was not much of a disadvantage!)
  • We needed a power strip, but I always have a couple bumming around. They're maybe a dollar at a thrift store; for this application, there is no need to go for the expensive kind
  • When I'm charging one thing but not another, I often forget to unplug the unused chargers from the strip. This means I'm not saving the maximum amount of energy and therefore money; however the system as designed is an improvement over our previous system of having chargers all over.

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