<a href="http://gmagazine.com.au/blogs/julie#">Green challenges</a>

Green challenges

Thinking global and acting local, Julie Grundy takes on any challenge we throw at her.

Reducing standby power: how did you go?

standby button

Credit: iStockphoto

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So how did you go with getting rid of all those vampire power suckers over the last month? I did pretty well, I think. So far I've sorted out:

  • laptop plugs and chargers all on one easily reached switch
  • tv and game console switches more accessible, with a foot switch
  • computer and printer on a foot switch too
  • kitchen appliances (with one exception, below) all off by default, only to be switched on when needed

And I'm switching them off every night before bed, as part of my evening routine.

What I'm still puzzling over:

  • microwave being on same switch as the fridge
  • wireless router that shouldn't be switched off but draws a lot of power every day

I've also learned that there's going to be improved regulation for standby power over the next few years, which can only be a good thing.

Meanwhile, I'm still keeping up my efforts with previous challenges. I don't drink bottled water anymore, and have only had one takeaway coffee this year, while working overtime at the office. Plus I've gotten very good at using up my leftovers properly - my only problem recently was a mystery bag of leftover food in the freezer, which turned out to be a forgotten attempt at saving bits formaking stock.

I'm keeping up my public transport efforts, and even convinced my husband to get a SmartRider so he can take the train on the spur of the moment instead of wondering about parking and change. I haven't tried out biking to work yet, although I'm curious about it.

And I'm eating vegetarian for about half the week these days. When I do it regularly, I lose a bit of weight, although I tend to put it back on because I've been trying out some organic wines and chocolates lately too!

Which of the challenges have you kept up with, and which ones have you let go?