Conscientious Cook: Do You Unplug Appliances at Night?

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

So many of our appliances these days come with a little computer display of some sort. Super handy when we need them, but these displays also draw a small amount of power in order to stay on and keep the appliance ready to go. It’s not much, but it can add up over time. Do you think it’s worth unplugging these appliances at night?

My husband and I argue about this one sometimes. He insists that unplugging appliances at night saves money and a noticeable amount of energy. I’m of the opinion that the appliance drawing the most power – the refrigerator – is the one appliance we can’t turn off. The other appliances are drawing such an insignificant amount of power when they’re at rest on the counter, why bother?

But then I sometimes tip the other way and think that maybe the “insignificant” amount of energy we save by unplugging the microwave (and its glowing clock) at night might add up over time. It’s the principle of the thing – if we can save a little energy, no matter how small, shouldn’t we do it?

One compromise we’ve tried is putting all our small appliances on the same power strip. This way we can just flick off the power strip when we leave the kitchen for the night instead of unplugging each individual appliance. The fridge and stove (another glowing clock source) stay plugged in – the former because we need it plugged in and the latter because it’s plug is in an inconvenient location.

The microwave continues to frustrate us. Resetting that darn blinking clock every morning is almost inconvenient enough to offset the satisfaction gained from unplugging the appliance for 8 hours.

What are your “green” habits and compromises when it comes to kitchen appliances?

(Image: Flickr member trekkyandy licensed under Creative Commons)