Mixed Greens Blog

Mixed Greens Blog
Living Sustainably in the Pacific Northwest

14
May
2008

Unplug Electronics & Plug in the Tea Kettle

Unplug energy-wasting electronics, and then make a cup of tea. A lot of technology and often too little of nature characterize our lives these days. Unplugging techy accessories is for the environment, the Honey Mint tea is for unplugging ourselves, a yin and yang kind of thing.

mint & honey tea 17

First, the electronics. Environmentally speaking, this information, if taken seriously, can mean a lot to our planet: “Cell phone chargers, TVs, DVD players, stereos, microwaves and other electronics with transformers continue to draw power, even when they’re off or not charging anything, as long as they’re plugged in. In the U.S., such “phantom electricity” emits about 12 million tons of carbon into the atmosphere a year, according to Conservation International.” Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz, Green Living

Unplug the computer, the TVs, DVD players, cell phone chargers and so on when they’re not in use. Turn on the tea kettle. Make Moroccan Honey Mint Tea with lots of honey and mint, some green tea if you like, steep in almost boiling water for 10 minutes, pour through a sieve and into a cup. Have a moment.

And think about this small action toward sustainability that, practiced collectively, has the potential for diminishing tons of global pollution. Unplug electronics that use “phantom electricity” even when they’re not in use. Reconnect with Honey Mint tea.

mint & honey 5mint & honey 28 Honey and mint, local and seasonal ingredients, are available at Farmers Markets right now. The mint, almost a nuisance, is exuding aromatic freshness in backyards everywhere. Unfortunately, the honeybees aren’t doing as well.

From Barry Eastabrook, Food Politics @ Gourmet.com: The Buzz “… from the nation’s honeybees is getting even more discouraging. A survey released this week revealed that more than a third of the hives in the U.S. have been lost since last year. The grim news follows similar losses the previous year. Much of the blame lies with a little-understood syndrome called colony collapse disorder, which causes bees to abandon their hives.

Even if you never use honey, you have a lot riding on the wings of the busy little insects. It is said that fully a third of the food humans eat depends on pollination by bees. In the United States, bees pollinate 130 different crops, with an economic impact of at least $9 billion a year.


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1 Responses »

  1. Thank you for alerting your visitors to the cumulative energy costs and cumulative pollution of all those little lights in our household appliances and equipment!

    A few years ago I learned the name “vampires” for them, which seems indeed appropriate: they suck up the blood of our energy systems, drop by drop. I’ve made a habit of unplugging even the tv and toaster when I turn them off; otherwise each has a vampire steadily indicating (with utter uselessness to me and my family) that, guess what, it happens not to be in use. In my study, lights blink or glow on every component of my computer system – on the modem, on the router, on the speakers, on the computer itself. I “kill” as many vampires as possible by turning them off. I also complain to companies that insist on incorporating vampires into their technological “wonders” – like why is the screen on my cordless phone always shining on?

    Collectively, we can make a huge difference if we act together to slay these little suckers, vampire by vampire!