How to reduce your ecological footprint at home?

How to reduce your ecological footprint at home?

Right now in the XXI. century it’s essential to save energy, reduce ecological footprint, and use less of everything. These are the key actions for our planet to survive. Have you ever though about all the home appliances that are constantly plugged in at home?

In our world, people are more careless than ever before, so we – eco-conscious people have to start the process of living smaller. 

Don’t worry, it’s not hard, and you won’t really notice the difference – except maybe in your budget, because we are not only doing good for the environment, we also save money for ourselves. 

It’s a mystery to me why people chose convenience over money, but that is another day’s problem. 

To reduce your ecological footprint, all you need is a little look-around and some logistic maneuvers in your home.

Unplug home appliances that are not in use all the time. Even better, use power strips that have switches. That way, you don’t physically have to unplug things, you just need to turn off a switch.

Believe me, it really does matters when gadgets are turned on and turned off.

And of course, it’s a lot easier, when you know the meaning of on/off power button symbols. Do you really know? Don’t worry if not, keep reading, the answer is coming soon.

Turn off the lights

Almost all switched-off appliances still add to your electricity bill.

Why? They are still plugged in, and only in “sleep mode” – not turned off completely. Naturally, this means, they still use power – sure, not as much as when they are turned on, but still, they do use it. So what you need is to unplug home appliances. 

4 kinds of plugs to home appliances, reduce ecological footprint

Basically, if you think about it, or just really look around, those sneaky little red lights are everywhere. Sometimes the lights are red, sometimes they are green, which helps to see if the gadgets are turned on and turned off, but the red still needs the electricity to be red, right?

What is Phantom Power?

Phantom power means turned off gadgets are still using power.  You might have heard the terms Leaking Electricity, Vampire Power, Ghost Load. Eventually, they all mean the same thing: You need to pay more for your electricity usage.

When I first told my mom to unplug home appliances, she said it’s such a tiny portion of the whole electric consumption, it’s not worth it.

But I, who have already gone through this process in my apartment can vouch for this trick. After I changed stuff around a little bit, I really started saving energy, and let’s not forget: money. My electricity bill was reduced by 15%.

phantom power - reduce ecological footprint

So, I strongly suggest you take a look around at home: what doesn’t need the power? What do you not use all the time? What gadgets are turned on and turned off only once a day or even a week? Take a few minutes, and think about what you can turn on/off easily. You can unplug them easily. 

How can you fight the Phantom Power, and reduce your ecological footprint?

Use power-strips with switches, so when you’re not using your gadgets,  you can in fact save energy, ergo reduce your ecological footprint. For example, some power sockets only have 1 outlet, which is the easiest way to start the transition, and you don’t have to hide the wire.

reduce your ecological footprint, power socket with one electricity hole and one switch gadgets are turned on and turned off

In my home, the only things that are constantly plugged in are the fridge, the wifi, and my alarm clock. I also have an electric car, which is plugged in in the garage. NOTHING ELSE.

So, to sum up, look around and collect the types of appliances that don’t really need power 24/7. Don’t forget, when you start the process, Your goal is not only to reduce your ecological footprint, but it also helps your budget. Way to live an eco-friendly lifestyle! And if you need more saving tricks, I recommend a great article with the best budgeting tips here.

Unplug home appliances and save energy

First, scan the kitchen, which is usually the weakest link: Blenders, juicers, coffee machine, milk frother, toaster, water boiler, exhaust hood, microwave.

Next, check out the living room, bedrooms, study rooms: air conditioner, printer, laptop/pc, chargers, TV, (de)humidifier.

Then, visit the bathroom: washing machine, toothbrush charger, hairdryer.

Of course, there are different rooms for different people’s houses, Maybe there is a craft room, or a shed, a garage – these are all good places to search for the Phantom Power.

There is an awesome freebie that I made, it’s the ultimate checklist to unplug home appliances  – these are all the electronics I could think of. 

How do you know which gadgets are turned on and turned off?

I had absolutely no idea, but one thing was for sure: I could never figure out when something was on or off. And then it occured to me: is it maybe because they all mean the same? 

When the electricity is out, a light bulb goes out, or the battery dies, I never know if the power buttons and gadgets are turned on or turned off at the moment. Even worse, when I’m abroad, the light switches are also confusing since they are upside down (for me)… Additionally, on those little red power buttons/switches/controllers – so basically on all buttons of gadgets & machinery – they have different on/off power button symbols. Just to make it more complicated.

These confusing on/off buttons symbols are everywhere

power on off symbols reduce ecological footprint

Sometimes power switches are pure black with no symbol at all, and sometimes they have the on/off power button symbols. And while you reduce your ecological footprint and fight the Phantom Power, have you ever thought about the meaning of these symbols? Do they really mean the same thing, or is there some reason they look differently? In the end, we need to know when gadgets are turned on and turned off in order to reduce energy.

So what are the meanings of the on/off power button symbols?

Turns out, they all mean the same thing. Yep, same circle, same stripe. It’s only the stripe, that changes positions… And do you know what they mean?

The stripe is the number 1, and the circle is a big fat zero. It seems so obvious… NOW… but I swear I didn’t know this until a few years ago.

Originally they had the words “on” and “off” on them, but then people realized, not eveyone knows the English language, however all know the meaning of 1 and 0. 

Now you can easily reduce your ecological footprint

To sum up, fight the Phantom Power, and make sure gadgets are turned on and turned off – turn them on only when they need to be used. Finally, the on/off power button symbols cannot confuse you anymore, since – and I’m sure of this – once you see the 1 and the 0, you can’t unsee it. 

Most importantly, with this little trick, you can definately do some savings on your electricity bills. 

In addition, you can also help the environment by repurposing as many things as you can in your household

In the meanwhile, do you want to save more money while helping Mother Nature? I recommend a great post by Karen Brady Kasberg. She shows how to save money while saving our planet.

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