From The GOOD Guide to Saving Energy
Every three months, GOOD releases our quarterly magazine, which examines a given theme through our unique lens. Recent editions have covered topics like the impending global water crisis, the future of transportation, and the amazing rebuilding of New Orleans. This quarter's issue is about energy, and we'll be rolling out a variety of stories all month. You can subscribe to GOOD here.
If your cell-phone charger is plugged in at home right now—and it is, isn’t it?—it’s using energy. It is just one of many examples of an energy vampire (as is your TV, coffee maker, computer, etc.) It’s easy to explain what an energy vampire is but inexplicably difficult for us to break ourselves of the energy-sucking habit. So we looked to Green My Parents, a nationwide effort that inspires kids to take the lead in getting their families to reduce their environmental impacts at home, and save them money in the process. GMP’s teen advocates tell us that a little trickery helps to change bad habits—as does making your mom’s morning latte.
I think my brother and I originally just unplugged everything, but we forgot to inform our parents! So my mom plugged her phone in and thought it was charging but then the next morning it was dead. Then we realized we had to tell them, so we explained it to them, but we also thought that it would be helpful to put sticky notes around the house as a reminder, so we did that, too.
—Clara Glassman, 14
My explanation of vampire energy came directly from money! I mean, what parent does not love to save, especially with three kids? For every light left on when we left the room, that would be money that my parents could use for the bills, groceries, and, most importantly, on me and my brothers.
—Rudy Sanchez, 17
I make my mother lattes on a daily basis and before I learned about energy vampires, I would always leave the machine on. For hours, this machine would blink in bright red letters different messages and I never bothered to turn them off. Unplugging devices like this can save your family tons of money.
—Mason Moon, 16