Cellphones are an essential part of modern life, but their chargers waste as much as 95 percent of the energy they consume. It's not only a waste of energy that increases demand for coal and contributes to climate change, but all that squandered electricity shows up on your bill, as well. So-called "vampire energy" devices cost Americans $4 billion annually, according to a report from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
But what's a plugged-in, social-media obsessed, Hipstamatic-loving Instagrammer to do?
Well, for a start, you could pick up a wicked-sweet solar cellphone charger from XD Design.
The small, window-mounted unit has a USB output and a mini-USB input, as well as a rechargeable lithium battery so it can charge itself to later charge your phone. It's also pretty dang stylish.
How much would you pay for this fabulous device? One kajillion dollars? Some other fake number that is even higher? Try around $70 at thefancy.com, which is a helluva bargain.
If for some reason that's too much, however, a variety of similar solar cellphone chargers can be found on Amazon for around $25.
And that small investment could save us all a lot in the long run.