UCSF Sustainability Stories


Deborah Fleischer, Green Impact, January 2013


Be a Vampire Slayer

VampireYes, we realize it is not Halloween.  But as 2013 kicks off, one easy way to LiveGreen is to be a vampire slayer!

When left plugged in, our electronic gadgets and basic appliances still use what’s called phantom or vampire energy—even when they are turned off or in sleep mode. A plugged-in cell phone charger sucks energy even when it’s not charging your phone. 

Here are a few easy tips for cutting vampire energy at the office and home:


stripTurn off your computer monitor at the end of the day;
•  Unplug your cell phone charger when not in use;
•  Switch off the printer, stereo and other electronic devices when not in use;
•  When buying new appliances, make sure they have earned the EnergyStar® rating; and
•  Better yet, plug all your appliances and the chargers for your mobile phones and other gadgets into a power strip, and flip the power strip to “off” when not needed. Using a “smart” power strip that automatically shuts off when devices are inactive makes this even easier for you.

Together, these small actions can add up to meaningful energy savings (estimates range from 5 to 10 percent). 

Learn More

How to Kill a vampire with a voice over by Josh Fox from Whitty Worldwide on Vimeo.