One Year Cell Phone Vampire Power = Six Minutes Driving = One Bath
With millions of small steps available for people to green their daily lives, it's pretty easy to go burn-out. Should I stop flying? Unplug my cell phone charger? Or buy a Prius? Or a clothesline? Comparing the trade-offs between decisions takes considerable time and effort; you could end up a crispy little mass mumbling on your bamboo rug. But a professor at the University of Cambridge was written a little something to assist us in our decision-making process, destroying a few 'Mythconceptions' in the process.
David MacKay, a professor at the University of Cambridge, to the rescue. Dr. MacKay has published an online tome "Sustainable Energy - Without the Hot Air" (free PDF download here) which relies on Kilowatt-Hours to quantify these decisions. It's incredibly comprehensive - 409 pages - and provides the apples-to-apples that points you in the right direction.
Case in point - cell phone chargers. David performs some tests and concludes that these chargers use maybe 0.01-0.05 kWh per day; over a year, that's the equivalent of a skipping a single bath (5 kWh per pop), or driving 6 minutes less annually (average driver being 40 kWh per day). David makes the point that all else being equal, you should of course unplug the charger. On balance though, better to go stinky for one day or lose a convienence store run. :: Without Hot Air