A Billion Acts of Green: Slaying Vampire Energy

Back in 2010, Earth Day Network launched A Billion Acts of Green®, an effort to collect one billion individual acts of environmental service and help people commit to living more sustainably. The campaign was a massive success. On Earth Day 2012, we reached our goal of one billion Acts of Green, completing the world’s largest environmental service campaign.

A Billion Acts of Green® was so well-received that we decided to keep the campaign going, setting our sights on two billion Acts of Green. And now, we are vamping up our commitment once again. Over the next several months, we will be unveiling a new series of actions to help you reduce your carbon footprint and live more sustainably.

Today, we’re proud to introduce our first new BAG action: Slaying Vampire Energy. Even when household appliances are turned off, they still consume electricity—called “vampire energy”—in order to power displays and remote controls, and charge batteries. Just in the US, more than 100 billion kilowatt hours are wasted every year because of vampire energy, costing American consumers over $11 billion! That means the average US home pays $120 every year on vampire energy—a huge waste of money.

Aside from higher electricity bills, vampire energy also contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. Most electricity is produced by fossil fuel power plants, which means that to produce electricity, we must burn fossil fuels, thereby releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. 100 billion kilowatt hours of vampire energy (that’s just for one year in the U.S., mind you) produce nearly 80 million tons of carbon dioxide, the equivalent of the annual carbon emissions from about 15 million cars.

Vampire energy is a serious burden—on both our wallets and our environment. Fortunately, it’s an easy problem to fix. Here are a few easy things that you can do to save money and reduce your carbon footprint:

1. Unplug appliances and chargers that consume vampire energy when they are not in use.
2. If you have multiple appliances in the same area, use power strips to regulate the flow of electricity.
3. When old appliances die, replace them with new energy efficient appliances.

Make the pledge today to reduce the amount of electricity you waste in your home! Tell your friends and family to join the movement! And engage with us on Twitter: #ActOfGreen.

We’ll be unveiling a new set of actions next month, so stay tuned! Thank you for participating in A Billion Acts of Green®, and for taking steps to reduce your carbon footprint and live more sustainably.