ZnFbwEb.jpg by Abigail Stofer

February's Action of the Month from SCOCO's youth team, Sustainable Leaders in Action is “Turn Stuff Off!” This action is super simple and an efficient way to save money!

The first aspect of this is to turn off lights whenever you leave a room. The savings for this action depends on what type of lightbulbs you have in your home. If you have incandescent or halogen light bulbs, only 10% of that energy is actually given off as light, whle the other 90% is given off as heat. Therefore, these types of bulbs are not very energy efficient. Additionally, CFL lights use a surge of energy when they are turned on, so be sure to only turn off the lights if they will not be used for more than 15 minutes. LED lights are ideal for energy conservation, and you could also have motion sensored lights that automatically turn on and off when someone enters the room. Turning off your lights is a super-simple practice that could become an automatic habit over time.You could even stick a post-it next to the switches as a reminder!

The second part of this action is turning off your electronic devices. All devices draw electricity, even when they are not directly in use (called “vampire energy”). Therefore, turning devices completely off will save significant amounts of energy. However, certain devices have different guidelines you should adhere to. 

You should not shut off computers unless they will not be in use for more than two hours due to the power-intensive process that they undergo when first switched on. Use the “sleep mode” when powering down for short periods of time. By just doing this, you could save up to $300 annually! Turn off monitors and other auxiliary devices (printers, scanners, game consoles, etc.) when they are not needed for more than 20 minutes, as they use energy even when in sleep mode, and even just turning down the screen’s brightness will save energy. And lastly, for televisions and entertainment devices, make sure to turn them off completely instead of using the “standby mode”一 when the TV appears off but is waiting for a remote signal. You could also connect devices to a smart power strip which would automatically turn them off when not in use. 

Just by turning off your lights and electronic devices, you could save a significant amount of energy and reduce your electricity bill every month! Easy peasy! 

Track your household’s carbon footprint and take action with us! Learn about the “Turn Stuff Off” action more in depth on the Cleaner Contra Costa Challenge website. The Challenge is funded through a grant from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

You need to be a member of SCOCO Network to add comments!

Join SCOCO Network

Email me when people reply –