By Jessie Daley
The latest energy-conserving trend surrounds those wall chargers that are sucking the life out of our outlets (and our pockets). Apparently when a charger is left plugged in without a device attached, it still drains energy. These appropriately dubbed "vampire chargers" account for a $3 billion annual loss in the U.S., which seems to me like a ridiculous amount of money to waste on the simple convenience of not having to unplug your charger.
When I learned this factoid I was pretty horrified; here I was leaving my cell phone and laptop chargers in 24/7, carelessly wasting energy day in and day out. The great thing about this problem is that it has an easy fix... just unplug your chargers when you're not using them. Simple enough, right?
I'm ashamed to admit that the convenience of not having to plug in my charger often takes precedence, especially when an outlet's in a hard-to-reach place. I'm a relatively green-conscious person, so I figure that if I'm a victim of this kind of laziness, chances are a lot of other people are too.
Luckily, there's a new product hitting the market to cater to our forgetfulness. GreenZero chargers by Bracketron can tell when a device is fully charged, at which point they automatically stop providing juice to a phone. And the chargers know when your phone is unplugged, too, so no need to flick a switch on a power strip to fight the drain of vampire energy... a small investment for a big saving! If you easily fall victim to the vampire chargers like me, consider finding a product that will let you keep your chargers plugged in, guilt-free.