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Give Your Computer a Rest Featured on Jan 29, 2010


Unplug your computer every night for one month. Unless it's unplugged, your idle PC still uses electricity.

Individual Result

By unplugging your PC each night for a month, you will reduce your CO2 emissions by a total of 51 lbs. and your electric bill by $3.30.

Rally Impact

8986 people have reduced CO2 emissions by 219.91 tons by completing this challenge so far. That's equal to turning off the electricity of 237 homes for about 1 month!

Accept This Challenge »

Join Carbonrally at Green:Net 2010. Click below for $90 discount

Challenge Details

Rallyer-powered! This was the first Challenge soured from the Challenge Workshop. This first Rallyer-inspired Challenge was based on terrific electricity-saving suggestions from Bee and several others. Nice work Bee! Now, get ready to stand up and power down… your computers.

The Carbon Connection
You’re reading this on a computer, aren’t you? As you sit there, basking in the glow of Carbonrally, are you thinking about how much carbon dioxide is being created to keep your PC running? Every time you power up your computer, you’re drawing electricity from the nearest power plant which is probably powered by coal, oil, or natural gas. And burning fossil fuels produces carbon dioxide.

So our first message is to turn off your computer when you won’t be using it for a long period of time. An average desktop computer with a 17-inch monitor needs between 150 and 350 watts of electricity while it is being activity used. If you were to leave that computer on 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, it would use over $200 of electricity and lead to the release of over 1.5 tons of CO2 into Earth’s atmosphere. Turning off your computer — even an inactive computer — for just 10 hours a day can lead to substantial carbon savings.

However, this Rallyer-inspired Challenge asks you to go the extra distance. Did you know that many of your household electronics and appliances use electricity even when they are turned off? This is known as standby or “phantom” power. For instance, your television uses standby power so that it can be ready to instantly turn on when you click the remote control. Your computer’s printer powers down, but isn’t really off unless you turn off its power switch or unplug it. Anything you own that has a transformer plugged into a socket is probably drawing electricity all the time, even when the gadget it’s connected to is not in use. Skeptical? Touch the transformer. If it is warm to the touch, then it’s wasting electricity.

At a few watts here and a few watts there, this loss of “phantom” power really begins to add up. In the United States, an estimated 5% of residential electricity is used as “phantom” power. According to the Department of Energy, that wasted 5% amounts to an annual energy loss of 64 million megawatt-hours of electricity — an amount of energy equivalent to the output of 18 typical power stations and at a cost of over $3 billion. If we could stop the use of all that “phantom” power, we could keep 100 billion pounds of CO2 out of Earth’s atmosphere each year.

So, for this Challenge, it isn’t enough to simply let your computer system hibernate overnight or even to turn it off. A computer and monitor that are both in “sleep mode” can still use anywhere between 8 and 28 watts of power. The only way to stop them from using any electricity at all is to cut the cord. Not literally, of course. Unplugging them will do.

Getting It Done
Need help meeting this Challenge? Here are a few simple suggestions:

  • One easy way to make sure you’re not wasting energy is to plug your computer, monitor, printer, and any other computer peripherals you have into a single power strip. After you shut the computer down, you can effectively unplug it and all the other pieces by turning off the power strip. That’s a lot easier than unplugging everything individually and plugging them back in the next morning. Just turn the power strip back on and restart the computer.
  • Better yet, you could buy a “Smart Strip” power strip for around $30. The “Smart Strip” essentially monitors electricity use in each plug and shuts off the ones that have been idle for a period of time.
  • Even if you’ve decided to accept our Challenge and unplug your computer every night, you could still benefit from understanding your computer’s built-in power savings options. For instance, under Vista’s new hybrid sleep mode, you can put your computer to sleep while you’re out to lunch or in a meeting. While you’re away, your computer will only be using 2 or 3 watts of electricity. And, better yet, when you return, it will start back up in seconds with everything just as you left it. Read more about Vista and Mac power-saving options.
  • There are a few common sense warnings to this Challenge. Be sure that your computer is set up to do important housekeeping chores (e.g., scanning for viruses or adware, downloading and installing critical updates, backing up your files) at a time when your computer is plugged in and turned on. Also, consider leaving your cable modem and network router plugged in. Sometimes they can be a little finicky about restarting, grabbing an IP address, and so on.

Do you have any other suggestions about how to make it easier for Rallyers and their friends to turn off and unplug their computers? If so, please share them in the Challenge forum section below.

Rules of the Challenge
The duration of this Challenge is one month and the Challenge is repeatable. If you accept this Challenge, you’ll see 1.7 lbs. of CO2 reduction added to your Rally account each day for the next month.

Are you someone who normally leaves his computer on all day? Does it run all night with a screensaver, or with the CPU running and the monitor turned off? We’ll make you a deal. For the first month of the Challenge, you can start with setting your computer up to hibernate or sleep at night. That will save 90% of the electricity you would have been wasting. And if, in that first month, you see that this isn’t such a big deal, then next month you can repeat this Challenge, buy a smart power strip, and shut your computer down completely overnight.

Learn More

Climate Savers: Computing Power Management Tips
Wikipedia: Standby Power
Grist: Smart Power Strips
When to Turn Off Personal Computers
Mr. Electricity: Saving Electricity
Estimating Appliance and Home Electronic Energy Use

See the Math
We know your computer is probably different from your brother’s or your professor’s or that girl with the Mac you met at the coffee shop. For the purposes of this Challenge, we are going to make the following assumptions to calculate an average value for your computer’s energy consumption:

  • We assume that 60% of you are using a desktop computer and 40% are using laptops/notebooks. We also assume 50% of all computers are connected to laser or inkjet printers. For the purposes of simplicity, we are ignoring any other peripherals you may have attached to your computer (e.g., scanner, external hard drives, speakers). That doesn’t mean don’t unplug them! We’re just not including them in our calculations.
  • For our desktop systems, we are imagining a desktop computer with a 17-inch external monitor. That system, including the computer and monitor, uses 200 watts when it is turned on and inactive.
  • We assume a laptop/notebook without an external monitor uses only about 40 watts.
  • We assume laser or inkjet printers consume an average of around 4 watts in standby mode.
  • We assume that you are unplugging your computer for 10 hours per day. That should be a conservative number. If it isn’t, you need to get out more.
  • The Challenge lasts for a month. Let’s call a month 30 days. So, taking this Challenge results in 300 hours of savings per month (30 days at 10 hours unplugged per day).
  • A kilowatt is equal to 1000 watts. Using 1 kilowatt for 1 hour is what your electric company describes as 1 kilowatt-hour (kWh).
  • So, let’s first look at just the electricity savings by our desktop users. Using the above numbers gives us:
    Desktop users taking this Challenge reduce electricity used by 60 kWh per month. Using a similar formula, we find that laptop users save 12 kWh per month. Rallyers with printers save another 1.2 kWh per month.
  • Now we need to get to an average Rallyer’s savings. So we are going to apply the percentages of each type of user to the savings to get a weighted average. Desktop users (60% of you) save 60 kWh (60 kWh x 60% = 36 kWh). Laptop users (40% of you) save 12 kWh (12 kWh x 40% = 4.8 kWh). And users of printers (50%) save 1.2 kWh (1.2 kWh x 50% = 0.6 kWh). Add these numbers up to get an average impact:
  • Ah, but wait! Some of you turn off your monitors at night. Some of you already have your computer set up to standby, hibernate, or sleep. So we’re putting in a “fudge factor” and reducing the kilowatt-hour savings by 20%:
  • Still with us? Finally, we know that a fossil fuel burning power plant releases an average 1.55 pounds of CO2 for every kilowatt-hour it creates:
  • Based on our assumptions, turning off your computer system at night for a month will result in an average carbon dioxide savings of 51.3 pounds, which we will credit at 1.7 lbs per day.
  • Accepting this challenge will also save you about $3.30 in electricity costs.

You get the idea. A sleeping computer is good, but an unplugged computer is even better. And the longer you can keep that computer powered off, the more electricity you save and the less carbon dioxide you’re responsible for creating. And don’t worry. When you turn the computer back on tomorrow, Carbon Rally will still be here. Go to sleep, Rallyers!

Discussion 109 comments so far

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seanivo 6 months ago
And even if you don't unplug, you can use software to keep your PC asleep when it is not busy. I use MollieSoft Winsleep - also has a timeline of when your PC was awake or asleep.
rallyer168465 9 months ago
In addition to unplugging my laptop at night, I have also unplugged a clock in our guest room and my cell phone charger when not in use.
heyday over 1 year ago
I do this already! heh
Aduurre over 3 years ago
CO2 is good for the environment!! its what plants need to thrive. Im sorry but what do we eat to live? PLANTS!! and if there was 1200ppm more of it in the air you would be amazed at how fast those plants would grow.
rallyer59845 over 4 years ago
I've left my computer UN-plunged for several days now.
imarion over 5 years ago
Our networked computers get all their updates at night. We’re trying to figure out a way to turn them off for part of the night, though. I do try to turn off the monitors at work. <a href="">torrent download game</a>
inregio Stadtportal over 5 years ago
Time for free energy!
kate_estivill over 5 years ago
Bought a multiple socket so bedside lights, laptop and phone charger are all turned off at the switch when I leave the house or go to sleep. Works a treat! And it's impossible to forget to turn it off at night because its evil little red light just stares at you in the dark :).
ashley218 almost 6 years ago
WOW. I had no idea our computer used that much electricity! I can definitely do this at home and encourage others to do it at work. After all, saving electricity generally means also saving money, which usually is reflected on the <a href="">payroll</a> - and there's nothing better than helping out both coworkers as well as the ecosystem!
rallyer40383 almost 6 years ago
For me it was not that difficult it was a good one for me
almeidaed about 6 years ago
This is a great challenge. The next step is in the Workshop session, under the title "Use your laptop as a Virtual Power Plant". On this challenge, you do the same computer effort in the time it has the largest impact: Electric grid peak-hour, synchronously with thousands of other people! Join our team and let's make this happen!
emilythegreenery over 6 years ago
oh man i guess i reallyy do gotta work on that.. andd i will :D
rallyer24179 over 6 years ago
This challenge is one i stress to my family so much. We are always turning on ad turnig off our laptops when we culd just save all the wasted time and use it so we can turn it off for good. im hoping this over a month things will improve!
sebj Person over 6 years ago
@Daina Switching off the power strip will cut all the power to whatever is plugged into it. So, I believe you are good to go. Have a nice day.
lipstickstain over 6 years ago
about 1 hour ago SUPER PUMPED!! i always leave my laptop on at night and it gets way to hot in the morning. Also I leave it on when I go to school and when I get home it won’t work cause it’s over heated. I’m definitly on board with this challenge!!
rallyer32853 over 6 years ago
SUPER PUMPED!! i always leave my laptop on at night and it gets way to hot in the morning. Also I leave it on when I go to school and when I get home it won't work cause it's over heated. I'm definitly on board with this challenge!!
daina over 6 years ago
if we just switch off the power strip that the computer is plugged into, instead of unplugging it... will that have the same effect?
Namhcetrepus over 6 years ago
I turn my computer off every night but now I will push the button on the UPS as well.
CerridwynEldritch over 6 years ago
Well, come to think of it, I've been doing this for years with my laptop... Just a few slip ups now and then. :)
Eco-Gall988 over 6 years ago
Will do! I'm usaully always forgetting to turn off my computer when I leave for school.
raven over 6 years ago
skater96 over 6 years ago
I guess its simple enough....
kdb818 over 6 years ago
my grandparents are actually extremely conservative and have been doing this for many years, so i decided to do it about two years ago. i saved about $79! it definetly adds up :)
tbylsma over 6 years ago
I tried to do this, but by some fluke of how the network in my house is set up (shared hard drives, etc.) I end up blue-screening after every hibernation cycle. anybody know how to fix this problem?
Patrick rallyer31694 over 6 years ago
This one is not such a personal challenge as I already disconnect my own computer when I'm not using it. The challenge is to get everybody at work doing it - that's another 300 computers. How?
ElectricGuitarWoman over 6 years ago
I've already started doing this. It's easy and makes complete sense. I also keep other things like my toaster unplugged - no sense paying for that cool lit up number on the front.
nina2beach over 6 years ago
Well, it's already a habit of mine to turn off my computer and desk lamp plus unplug everything before going to bed. You should make it a habit too!
purplepup over 6 years ago
hi everyone, can you check out some of my suggestions? thanks if you can =]
SolorooerSkirtGuy over 6 years ago
i guess i'll turn my monitor off too :)
millionheir over 6 years ago
I plan to do this with my home computer that I sometimes even forget to turn off.
Deb Amori over 6 years ago
I can do this at home, but not at work. Our networked computers get all their updates at night. We're trying to figure out a way to turn them off for part of the night, though. I do try to turn off the monitors at work. At home, it's easy, we have a power strip and turn that off every night.
tbylsma over 6 years ago
Aside from saving energy, working off a battery charge actually prolongs the life of the battery.
roadrunner over 6 years ago
At home & at work - power strips are the best! At home, one carries the computer, printer, etc. A separate strip has tv, light and stereo! Painless!
jrumskas over 6 years ago
I have all of my computer components on a power strip and turn it off whenever I am not going to be using it for an hour or more. Since the majority of what I use a computer for is email, web surfing, and movies, I purchased an ultra-low power desktop solution last year. Fit PC 2 with Win XP (10 watts) Lenvo Thinkvision Monitor Run in Eco Mode (10 watts) DSL Modem (8 watts) I still turn it off when not in use. My gaming system (240 watts) is now rarely used.
Marcus Master over 6 years ago
I teach in a school where ALL the students have laptop computers. There are powerstrips strewn all over the place. I make it my responsibility to walk around the building before I leave each day to make sure that the power strips are turned off and unplugged. I have some green students who are helping me and they'll take over soon.
Ashlics5 about 7 years ago
I think its a really good idea to turn off the power strip. Every single plug in my powerstrip is taken, and I dont think thats good for the electricity. At night im going to turn it off from now on.
mshelton07 over 7 years ago
Joanne - No. Turning off your computer will not hurt it. This used to be true on really old machines but new computers are designed to handle being turned on and off repeatedly. It is also safer to turn off your computer at night. A computer that runs all night, especially if it is still online, even if you are not using it, is vulnerable to hackers while a computer that is off and unplugged is not.
LadyBug417 over 7 years ago
i bought a laptop insted of a desktop because it dosent waste as much elctricity as a desktop.
BonnieO over 7 years ago
It's good for the computer to power down periodically as well. But I can remember to unplug as well.
Wolflady over 7 years ago
Hannah If you don't have a PC then wat are you looking at this for. Go on and find something that you do regulary to maybe try change it. I never used to unplug my precious comp but now I feel like I wanna!lol Ah man, I hope everyone is staying loyal to this because it feel like I'm actually doin 'something!' Mr. Trewartha, For me, I wasn't sure about the same thing but then I thought "Well how much more work does it take to just unplug it, just incase" Like it's the same amount of effort to turn a switch and to plug it in, ya know? That's just wat I figured.
stephkey08 over 7 years ago
I've been doing this long before I heard of carbon rally :)
Claire94 over 7 years ago
i do this every night:]
Hannah W. over 7 years ago
what if i don't have a pc?
Mr. Trewartha over 7 years ago
Someone asked me today if a surge suppressor works when the switch is turned off. I do not know. Can anyone help? The concern is, are our computers still protected at night or do we need to unplug the cord?
hbby1610 over 7 years ago
i learned about this stuff in physics,but about using a hairdryer. i'm looking forward to this challenge!
forevergreen over 7 years ago
this is a really good challenge! especially since we have more than one computer in the house, and we never turn any of them off! none of us ever realized how much energy we are wasting!
soupadoopa_cao over 7 years ago
This is a really good challenge for me to take on, mainly because my mom's been telling me to do this since I got my laptop 2 years ago! I really didn't know how much energy would have accumulated if I didn't unplug it. This is going to be a piece of cake :]
Chynarose over 7 years ago
Everytime i'm done with my computer i unplug it and turn the cords off, You save alot on you're bill, and it's better for the environment.
fr0y0gurli13 over 7 years ago
i felt so guilty after reading this. i had my printer plugged into the wall, and i haven't even used it in around a month. not good.
Joanne093 over 7 years ago
My family shuts sown our computer every night. We do it because no one uses it all night, or most of the morning. This helps the environment and we save more money. That $3.30 really adds up at the end of the year. I have heard that always turning the computer off can damage your computer. Is this true?
ScoobyDoo over 7 years ago
This challenge is not accurate for all electronic devices, so in some cases it's just a waste of your time to unplug and plug-in devices. As some people have mentioned, devices like a VCR or DVR will draw power when they're off because of clocks and timers, but not all electronic devices will draw power. I have a power meter (Kill A Watt EZ) that I can plug into devices to measure the amount of power they draw and project the amount of money a device will use. I plugged my 1 year old iMac into it while it was off and it draws 0 watts of power, while it's on it draws 100 watts of power, and when it's in sleep mode it draws 0 watts of power. Yes, that's right, when the computer is off or in sleep mode, it does not draw any power. So, as a previous poster mentioned, just set your computer to enter sleep mode after 15-30 minutes of inactivity, and shut it off when you're done using it. Unplugging a desktop computer will not save you any additional money.
killbill0017 over 7 years ago
Lately, I have installed a electricity saving equipment, and for some reason, its WORKING. I have posted here before, how I never turned my pc off completely and rather hibernated, but after buying this equipment, i haven't turned my desktop off ( or even hibernated for that reason ) for straight off 22 days, just to secure their guarantee of satisfaction. I was shocked to see my bills appear much too low compared to the previous month. I live in a single unit room block with individual meter, and my consumptions didnt change ( except for the overly pressure being put in the desktop ). The company is called PlugandSave, and they claim to <a href="">save energy</a> by reducing the spikes caused by electric surges. Although this is not a general <a href="">PlugandSave review</a> , but rather my vouch after personally using the unit for a month. Ill keep you guyz updated.
samrobertson over 7 years ago
the only downside is it damages your harddrive and motherboard every time you shutdown a computer.... sadly because my setup is too expensive to replace It probably hasn't been unplugged in months. I think it runs on until the power grids in the area go out D:
-DillonD- over 7 years ago
NC is on a roll..
rallyer14709 over 7 years ago
We have a solar electric system installed in our home. All the 120 volt devices are attached to the solar system as a off grid system.Two years ago our electric bill was $400.00 a month for two people in the home. Now our electric bill for last month December with lighted tree and out door lights on at least 5 hours a day is $125.00 for that month. We have saved $275.00 a month with our solar electric system. I have built my own solar hot water heating system for less than $200.00. We live in Florida so we do not have to worry about cold weather. We have not used our home's hot water heater as it was intended to be used. We use the tank for storage of hot water only and on demand hot water for when we need it. Another good thing to do is when you make coffee after it has been brewed turn the coffee pot off. Unplug quick start tv and reduce the use of computers to a shorter period of time daily. Also when you turn off the computer it is still drawing electricity. Unplug it. Convert all the clocks to battery operated clocks. Don't use plastic cups, plastic water bottles unless you can use them over and over again.
killbill0017 almost 8 years ago
i never shut down..but put my pc on hibernate and unplug. Problem is for some reason when i resume from hibernation, my pc seems to hotten up faster compared to a fresh start. I love the challenge! P.S - What is hibernation? check out with big daddy <a href="">Microsoft</a>
Blossom almost 8 years ago
I expected to apply this challenge to my home computer as well as the office. I believed this will be a conservative way to save energy. Especially the home computer sine it being used very frequent. I will also see a cost reduction on my electric bill
EyeloveMetal almost 8 years ago
Bought a couple of those Belkin smart power strips for the tv, and for the computer, so when I leave for work I just switch em off now, excellent product, thanks for the referral and coupon code bgreennow! I use my computer for music to fall asleep to at night, just have to figure a way for it to auto shutoff when my playlist is done at night and I'll save even more electricity! only issue is my windows XP won't allow an auto shutdown, I still have to push the power button on the tower for it to shutdown. and I can't figure out how to get rid of it! Grr..
bgreennow almost 8 years ago
I just found a discount from Belkin for the Conserve power-saving surge protector. Use the coupon code (save3108) at to receive $10 OFF + FREE SHIPPING. The Belkin energy-saving surge protector eliminates the standby power of connected equipment. It includes a wireless remote control that switches off a bank of outlets on the device (2 outlets always remain on -- so your Tivo and cable box work correctly). I guess you can use it with your computer setup as well. The product is very convenient and sure beats bending down and reaching behind my cabinet to power-off my electronics. Take a look at and use the following coupon code: save3108 $10 OFF + FREE SHIPPING -- a great deal to save energy + save money on your electricity bill.
Jessi K about 8 years ago
I always put my computer in 'sleep' mode, but I never unplug it. This will be hard for me considering I need my computer to tell me what time it is in the morning. I hope I remember to turn it back on =)
corizomb about 8 years ago
Awesome! This is so sweet. Amazing how you can do something so easy and still help.
snowflakey116 about 8 years ago
I'll leave my printer and laptop unplugged while I'm offline. I don;t like toasty computers, anyways :)
fhaka2008 about 8 years ago
I have a good battery, so I can do this. I'll charge it whenever I'm on it and leave it unplugged the rest of the time.
Marine-Green about 8 years ago
I am going to pick up one of those "smartstrips" asap!
Katelyn :) about 8 years ago
I had no idea it was this simple, I deffinatly would have started doing this a long time ago. :)
gbcwvnf02_55066 about 8 years ago
Turn of screen savers! Screensaver=power waster. It takes a lot of power to display a simulated aquarium. Set the power management options so that your monitor is "turned off" (put into standby mode) after 10 or 15 minutes of disuse. Screensavers had their use back in the days of old CRT monitors that did not have standby mode. CRTs would permanently "burn-in" an image if the same thing was displayed continuously and screensavers were devised to get around that problem. But they should now be seen as outdated, silly, and wasteful.
Sage about 8 years ago
This will be a little difficult because my children are always on the computer late in the night but I will try.
BoyOfTheEnders about 8 years ago
I've already done this for over a year. I have a switch, next to my light, that turns off the power to every outlet in my room. My computer, TV, and Radio, are all power-less, when the switch is off, most of the time, when I leave my house, I turn off everything in my room, and house. Last year, when I had this function intigrated into my rooms, the electricity bill was over 300 a month, since then, it has been within 100 bucks a month, give or take 10 bucks. When you live off your income, you tend to find ways like this to save money, let alone the earth. Challenge complete already.
birdman (Carbonrally) about 8 years ago
Mariah, Hi. I have been struggling with this same problem. I want to find a way to turn off our cable box/DVR when not in use, but if I unplug it I have the same boot-up problem you are having. Ugh. the box just sits there warn day and night. There must be a better way. Any ideas? We are working on it with the Carbonrally team, and hopefulyl we'll find a solution and post a challenge on this.
mariah_78759 about 8 years ago
My only problem with turning off the power strip for my DVR/Cable box is that it will not record shows if there is no power. Also when the DVR/Cable box gets unplugged, thank you kitty, it take 10-15 mins to boot up. I guess I can switch it to a main plug and leave everything else in the entertainment center on the power strips and shut those off.
~!dancer!~ about 8 years ago
I do this already! lol
mmelachat1965 about 8 years ago
I currently have my TV/DVD/Cable box on a power strip and turn it off when not in use, keep the cd player unplugged so I just need to expand on that and turn off the power strip to the computer when I'm not using it. I'll leave a post-it note so I don't forget.
kelley74ny_07024 about 8 years ago
I have to unaccept this challenge, much to my regret, because I have to figure out a way to turn off all the things I don't need while keeping ON the things that have to have power. Things are such a tangle! And we have two computer set-ups, too, both tangled and full of dust bunnies. :-P I did manage to unplug some things and to remember at least to shut down both computers every night. I have also not been powering them up in the morning and leaving them on all day. I do deserve some credit, but I'm not really following the rules so I have to quit for a bit until I get it figured out.
sy about 8 years ago
In fact, unplug everything that you can before going to bed to save more carbon.
bcorrea7_85204 over 8 years ago
this is so easy! i never knew how much i could help the enviroment by doing these simple tasks..
Twinkerbell91_73020 over 8 years ago
i could do this its really simple
2Late4Fate over 8 years ago
This should be easy, seeing as where I'm living, the main computer is just a laptop. xD But it still uses electricity! (So do other appliances... I'll unplug them, too.) =]
detric.goss_30144 over 8 years ago
I started this process two nights ago--it's takes little to no time at all and I feel like I'm doing my part.
Cougar over 8 years ago
Yes it applies to a MAC. They use about the same amount of power. So have fun and give it a try!
Zoe J. over 8 years ago
I wonder... it says "Idle PC" in the summary of the challenge, but will I still have the same impact on a Mac?
Gabe over 8 years ago
haha! well, I already do this anyways....
Gonna_be_here_awhile over 8 years ago
About 6 months-1 year ago, the phantom electricity phenomenon was really brought to MY foreground - this was something I really never thought too much about. When I kept hearing and reading stories about how much electricity these electronics that are plugged in and not used regularly take, I thought I would give it a shot and see if it would really help the electric bill (yes, selfish reason to start! haha). Boy, what a difference it does make! 95% of my electronics are unplugged unless I use them and then when I'm done, I unplug them again. I accepted this challenge because I want to keep up the good work and have the reminder of why I should REALLY keep it up :)
x CrazyTurkey x over 8 years ago
This one shouldn't be too hard at home, but I'm gonna try to start doing it at work now too. Thanks for the suggestion Wildcat!
anna_dawn_grady_28655 over 8 years ago
Wow, ok, this is new for me, I do power off the pc as opposed to powering down or putting it on standby, but I had no idea it needed to be unplugged. Wow. Ok. I can manage to unplug this puppy for more than one night, Ill unplug this puppy every night after I use it for the last time. First challenge Ive taken on soemthing I dont already do. Awesome.
Wildcat over 8 years ago
I not only unplug all my gadgets at home (with a powerstrip) i do it at work too!
darby over 8 years ago
Okay, so I know that someone has probably already asked this, but I was too lazy to read through all the comments. I was wondering if, to complete this challlenge you actually have to unplug the computer. Can't you just turn it off? I have a dell, and on the start menu you can find a button that says turn off computer which gives you a pop-up that says turn off. Is this really enough?
RainDancer over 8 years ago
I always do that anyways! But yeah.. I meet people all the time who have about 3 computers in their house, and they leave every single one on all day and all night, and never ever turn them off! It really annoys me!
hassi over 8 years ago
We're in the process of eliminating vampirism throughout the house. There's always a surprise waiting...I discovered that a tower fan we recently purchased was remote controlled...Another power vampire. Off it now goes at the plug. I just hope we can get 'em all. A few bucks for power strips and switchable plugs and you're well on your way... Idea needing developing: Internal rechargeable battery-powered remote sensors and flash memories for settings. While the TV/DVD, etc. is actually 'on', the battery for the remote sensor is charged. When the device is shut off, the entire system is shut off while the battery-powered remote sensor sits idly using minimal battery power rather than line electricity. The flash memory will keep the last setting stored with essentially no electricity usage. WW
cin_mlw over 8 years ago
I started putting timers on my surge protectors to power down at night (11pm-7am). Problem is that somethings need to work when accessed such as DSL moden and WiFi router without me having to touch them everyday. Timers seem to be working well. Will start pulling the plugs at work and placing the laptop in standby mode when I don't take it with me.
13lovenow over 8 years ago
This wasn't too hard, but I could tell that it made a difference.
itss morgann x over 8 years ago
i turn off my computer evey night, and i thought that was enough. well now i know better.
jaypo11 over 8 years ago
wow..i didnt know that it still used electricity. im definitely up for the challenge considering we shut down the computer every night..and i have to do is unplug stuff..sounds good
Ella over 8 years ago
Does this work with laptops? By the way I love how this site makes me feel like people are working to keep our Earth healthy!!
lorenzobd23 over 8 years ago
is turning off the computer not as good as unpugging?
BecomingGreen over 8 years ago
wow, I love this website =)
Lenny! over 8 years ago
This is great!!! I had no idea that my conputer could use so much electricity just overnight! I'm so glad to be doing this.
diane.bartley over 8 years ago
1. TV/DVD player are plugged into a power strip. We turn it off whenever we are not watching. No vampire power for us! 2. My main computer (laptop), monitor, docking station, etc. are all plugged into an outlet that is turned off by a switch. We shut the whole thing down every night. 3. All 3 laptops in our condo are set to hibernate after a certain period of inactivity. 4. Stereo is entirely unplugged unless we are listening to it. 5. All appliances are EnergyStar.
s.hagy28_19130 over 8 years ago
This is a great challenge, one that I plan to take to my entire company. Not only does it save on electricity, it saves money!! I have, like many who have posted previously, started to move many of my appliances to power strips. I have also become mindful of unplugging appliances when I leave for vacation or a business trip.
maatsat over 8 years ago
This challenge has inspired me to put all my electronics on power strips and turn the power strip off when the electronics are not in use...I've also been spreading the word and have inspired a few other folks to put their electronics on power strips too...thanks!
pasiefert_11790 over 8 years ago
It takes less than a minute and is an easy habit to develop. Saves energy and saves on electric bill.
adam_antichrist_55555 over 8 years ago
violet, i just turn my strip off at the wall.
Violet over 8 years ago
Don't power strips still use power because they're plugged into the wall (even if there turned off)? Can someone explain please?
guerchy over 8 years ago
It would be usefule to ask big companies / universities etc to not ask their employees to leave their computers on during their abscence. I teach at CSUF and I am supposed to do just that, so that the technical crew can do the work/updates they want ( I don't obey).
ebarclay413_21921 over 8 years ago
i already turn off the printer, computer, and copier at work before i leave at night.
Diane471_74135 over 8 years ago
I have been turning my computer off at work since July 2007. My husband is buying me a laptop and turning it off will not be a hard challenge. I accept.
mikojava over 8 years ago
it might be worth upgrading your computer also! interestingly the new 45 nanometer processes for upcoming chips make them run much cooler and use less power. Funny how that works... Miko
Stan over 8 years ago
The key for me getting this done was to just turn off the power strip to which my computer is connected. This sort of thinking has led me to consider walking around the house and adding a power strip to everything and turning them all off at night. I wonder if there is a "smart power strip" out there that will turn itself off when there power draw is below a certain threshold which would effectively do this unplugging for you. Really good point about the heat. In our case we have stopped heating rooms which we do not use, so the heat would still be wasted since the room is not occupied when the heat is off.
birdman (Carbonrally) almost 9 years ago
Hey Rick. Great point about needing more seasonal challenges. In the case of PCs staying on all night, I'd love see the data about efficiency of PC "waste heat" vs dedicated heating systems. In our case the PC is in the office, which does not need heat... maybe we should move it into the bathroom :)
Rick almost 9 years ago
I love this site, and I love the challenges, but as an engineering geek, I'm not sure I buy into this particular one... When you leave appliances on, the wasted energy is given off as heat. For most people in the U.S. in January, that heat is useful to keep their home or office warm. In effect, you are heating your home or office with electricity instead of oil or gas. It is probably less efficient to do it that way, but only by a certain percentage. Most of that "wasted" energy is actually used. This challenge would be fantastic for the summer months, when generating additional heat requires more AC usage. For the winter months, I'd rather see a challenge that focuses on conserving heat (better insulation, etc.) In fact, maybe I'll propose one!