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America is home to nearly as many TVs as people—an estimated 275 million sets.

Photograph by Nikolay Okhitin/Shutterstock

Usage Tips

  • Turn it off. For those who need a power boost to get the job done, electric models are available, with or without a cord. These are sort of the Toyota Prius hybrids of the mower world. The degree to which they pollute depends on the energy efficiency of the power plant from which the battery charge originated. I added the transition because It’s a little confusing to list electric mowers as a subset of reel push mowers, because the reel push mowers don’t pollute at all.

  • Stop vampire voltage. Even when it’s turned off, the typical TV is using energy. Standby power is a hidden energy vampire, and most TVs automatically enter this mode when the “off” button is pressed. Users can stop these hidden energy losses by connecting the TV and its components, like DVD players and gaming consoles, to a single power strip and simply cutting off the juice when it’s not in use. However, standby power is necessary for functions like clock displays and DVR programming. So, if you require constant juice, at least make sure your TV is Energy Star rated for efficiency during stand by mode. And kill the power to your peripherals when you don’t need them.

  • Additional savings. Some units have additional user settings, like a “power saver” mode that can make them run more efficiently. Other options, like the ‘quick start” phase make them run less efficiently by burning lots of extra power whenever the set is in standby mode just to save a few seconds of “warm up” time when the TV is switched on. Explore your set’s options to see if you can program some additional energy savings.

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