You're probably spending $100 per year on energy costs for devices that are plugged in—even if they're switched off, an EPA spokesperson tells Mother Jones. She lists six of the worst offenders you should consider unplugging first if you want to save energy—and cash:
- Cable boxes: Yes, these seemingly innocent devices suck up a lot of electricity, about as much as your refrigerator. If you can't bring yourself to unplug it, at least ask for a multi-room box so you can use just one for all your TVs.
- A/V equipment: Worried your DVD player or iPod docking station will forget what time it is when you turn it off? Many Energy Star-approved devices will remember what time it is, so try using those instead.
- Game consoles: If you absolutely must leave your console on at all times, as many people do, get a Nintendo Wii—it uses less energy than other systems.
- Digital picture frames: By design, they stay on constantly—so consider sticking to the old kind, which uses zero electricity.
Another energy efficiency researcher doesn't think unplugging is necessarily a must, but he offers this handy tip: "When you put your hand on the adaptor, if it's hot, it's using energy. If it's not hot, it's probably not using very much energy." Click for Mother Jones' full list