4 Ways to Conserve Energy on Household Tech Devices

flat screen tv photo

Need some easy ways to conserve energy? Trim your energy costs on your new holiday technology gifts.

Are you one of those people that got a ton of new devices over the holidays? From televisions to laptops to game devices, the season of giving is often filled with new technology. But according to NRDC, those devices may come with hidden costs because they drain energy in ways that we’re not prepared for upon receiving them.

Energy costs don’t just empty your wallet, they also lead to the generation of more energy which often comes from coal-fired power plants. Coal-fired power plants pollute the atmosphere and emit greenhouse gases, which warm the planet. But you can take steps to trim your technology footprint in the New Year. Here are some easy ways to conserve energy by making some simple changes to your consumption.

1. Adjust your television settings.

The good news about your new flatscreen is that it drains less energy than your old flatscreen because they are getting more efficient. But the bad news is your new television still uses a lot of energy. But NRDC says that by changing a few simple settings you can vastly improve your status. First off, choose home or standard screen settings rather than vivid or retail settings which are unnecessarily bright. These settings burn 15-20 percent more energy. Next up, disable the quick start function which turns your television on slightly faster but drains energy even when it’s off.

2. Get an ENERGY STAR cable box.

Ask your cable provider for an ENERGY STAR version 4.1 cable box. It’s the latest most efficient model. Also, make sure to unplug cable boxes in rooms where they’re not often used like in vacation homes or guest bedrooms.

3. Stream movies more efficiently.

If you’re streaming movies online, make sure you’re doing it in the most efficient manner using Roku, Apple TV, or Chromecast. Playstation and Xbox can use 10-20 percent more energy to stream the very same movies. Crazy stuff.

4. Get an ENERGY STAR router or modem.

Make sure that along with that sleek new laptop, you’ve also got the most efficient router or modem. It makes a big difference. In fact, according to an NRDC study, these devices use 30 percent less energy than the older, less efficient models.

If you love your devices make sure you’re using them in the most efficient manner possible. Keep your devices attached to a power strip so you can turn them all off easily when you’re done, make sure you properly dispose of your old devices (either recycling them, trading them in, or clearing them out and handing them off to a friend), and think long and hard about what you actually need and how it impacts consumption in the world we live in. Little steps can make a huge difference especially when everyone begins to take them.

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Image: Orin Zebest