Tag Archives: Low Carbon Actions

Waste of Time No. 2: Switching off mobile phone chargers

A practical experiment by well respected environmentalist David McKay caught my eye recently. It highlights the absolute nonsense of promoting very low carbon saving actions to help people feel better about their otherwise high carbon lifestyles.

The prime example of this is switching off mobile phone chargers when they’re not in use. As David shows even a multiplug adaptor with six (six!) chargers plugged into it (not charging anything) uses less than 1 watt.

Six Chargers: 0.1 Watts! Oh the horror...

As David says, people like us banging on about phone chargers is a bit like trying to “bail the Titanic with a tea strainer”. Indeed.

This is one reason why we have started calculating the carbon of the actions we recommend to businesses and households. It means we can place greater emphasis on those actions that genuinely avoid carbon emissions. Things like driving, flying, heating your home, the food you eat, the things you buy etc. It’s a much more challenging conversation but it’s also the only conversation worth having.


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