New Chargers to Tackle Vampire Power

In our increasingly mobile life, the need for technology to make things even easier has become almost mandatory. Our mobile devices like cell phone, laptop, Kindle, iPad, iPod, iPhone, Blackberry and others use up a lot of energy both during their manufacture and use.

Not only do they use electricity when they are charging, they also continue to draw electricity when they are plugged in but turned off. This ‘vampire power’ or ‘vampire energy’  or ‘phantom load’ costs US consumers alone,  $3 billion a year. This is something that electronics company Bracketron is hoping to change. 

Bracketron targets the mounting and accessories market for today’s mobile and handheld technologies. They have recently launched a new line of eco-friendly chargers for mobile devices and batteries that features the GreenZero Technology. According to the company, this technology eliminates vampire power entirely.

The GreenZero chargers detects when the device is fully charged or unplugged and then automatically shuts off. The chargers consume zero idle power, saving energy. This also lengthens the life of the batteries on the device by limiting top-off charging time. The charger is also small enough to be travel friendly.

According to their website, GreenZero products include the Mushroom GreenZero and Stone GreenZero wall chargers for mobile devices, and the Stone Battery, a mini portable power supply that is available for both iPhone and microUSB-connected mobile devices. The chargers will debut at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next week and the company plans to have them in stores by March.

Mobile devices in many ways do make our life more eco-friendly. Several apps for Android, Blackberry and iDevice users have make on-the-spot references to sustainability issues very convenient. Many app developers have targeted hand-held users in their development of apps. The Seafood Watch Guide to sustainable seafood is available for Android users to make shopping and eating out easier. The Safe Sushi app tells you how much mercury is contained in a California roll. Even the Good Guide is available in mobile format to make shopping more sustainable. Mobile apps for maps are proving to make commuting greener as well.

However, manufactures and ancillary companies need to think about the amount of strain that constant connectivity places on our resources and electricity grids. Bracketron is leading the way in making chargers for mobile devices greener. Hopefully manufacturers of electronics will take the hint and have such technology in-built into their chargers in the near future.

Image: Mushroom GreenZero charger. Bracketron ©

Akhila is the Founding Director of GreenDen Consultancy which is dedicated to offering business analysis, reporting and marketing solutions powered by sustainability and social responsibility. Based in the US, Europe, and India, the GreenDen's consultants share the best practices and innovation from around the globe to achieve real results. She has previously written about CSR and ethical consumption for Justmeans and hopes to put a fresh spin on things for this column. As an IEMA certified CSR practitioner, she hopes to highlight a new way of doing business. She believes that consumers have the immense power to change 'business as usual' through their choices. She is a Graduate in Molecular Biology from the University of Glasgow, UK and in Environmental Management and Law. In her free-time she is a voracious reader and enjoys photography, yoga, travelling and the great outdoors. She can be contacted via Twitter @aksvi and also http://www.thegreenden.net