Monday, May 11, 2009

One thing for the planet: unplug your wall-warts

My husband is always going around unplugging our AC adapters. Sadly, until I met him, I was completely unaware that many of these so-called "wall warts" continue to draw power from the grid even if the appliance they run isn't plugged in at the other end. My roommate and I left our phone chargers plugged in to the kitchen outlet 24 hours a day.

You can tell your wall wart is wasting energy if it's warm to the touch when your cell phone, laptop, etc. isn't charging. Most of the ones in my house are this wasteful model. There is a fix to this problem: manufacturers could install switches in them, but that would make them more expensive.

So in the meantime do one thing for the planet: unplug your cell phone charger, your laptop charger, your baby monitor charger, your battery charger, your ipod charger...


  1. Yes -- I've heard the same thing. So far I've only been really good about the cell phone charger. Monitors and whatnots remain plugged in for convenience but I guess it's not THAT big of a deal to reach behind the sofa. Thanks for the reminder! I'm off to save the planet.

  2. Ugh! I am so bad! I long for the days of ignorance, but between that husband of yours and Cassie I must be good.

  3. Topiary is finding power strips with on-off switches are a good compromise--you can turn off the switch instead of having to unplug everything every time.

    (Hoping this is just as environmentally friendly, or do power strips themselves draw power even when switched off? it's so complicated!)


  4. Cow: I actually do the same thing with power strips, far easier to shut it off then dig behind furniture every time I want to unplug my baby monitor's wall wart. According to my nerd husband power strips don't draw a current when they're shut off. Hopefully he's right! Should have put that suggestion in the original post, thanks for mentioning it!!


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