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Blue Ghost Attacks IKEAs Environmental Policy - wasting $30 for me just to save IKEA one dollar

IKEAs $12.99 ghost SPÖKA wastes more electricity than SPÖKA itself costs. I pay $30 in electricity just to save IKEA $1 for not adding a power saving mode to the included charger.

Big movers like IKEA has to help avoiding obvious shortsighted saving of cents that waste both dollars and environment. Others, like Sony Ericsson are already doing it. And since chargers are sold in billions, we are wasting electricity for billions of dollars just to save a few cents on a charger.

The child-friendly little blue shining ghost SPÖKA from IKEA can be a part of the solution. But today it's a part of the problem. A money waster and a power waster.

How can a cuddly ghost be a problem? It was such a good idea. A small rechargable ghost with a comfortable blue shine in the dark night. A perfect friend for a child who want the lights on in the night. Now they can even bring their own personal light into the bed since the rechargable batteries give light for at least half the night. And with the power cord it can shine for ever.


SPÖKAs problem is the included charger. A gross polluter consuming power even when SPÖKA holds full charge. It wastes electricity thus adding to the Greenhouse Effect. But it also steals my money! I have to pay more for SPÖKA on my electricity bill than I pay to IKEA! Did you hear that Kamprad? Does it hurt? Ingvar Kamprad sells SPÖKA for $12.99 In three years I'll pay $30 for electricity. If IKEA and Kamprad charged $13.99 for it, I'd pay just $3. Those stupid Swedish businessmen make me pay twice for SPÖKA without putting a cent of it in their own pockets. And to add insult to injury - SPÖKA becomes a Gross Polluter using ten times the power it really need. 90% of my electricity bill is for heating the charger. I'm happy to not have an airconditioner. Then I'd have to pay again for cooling the wasted heat too.

Still, my money isn't the problem. The real problem is Asia and Greenhouse Effect. IKEA is buying chargers from gigantic asian factories. They buy $1 chargers that use ten times the energy they need rather than buy $2 chargers with a proper power saving mode. This short sighted money saving helps conserving old technology instead of getting rid of it immediately.

More and more people in Asia and Africa will afford electronics. This is good, but they will buy the cheapest alternative. They have to. And thus they will waste a lot of electricity unless the cheapest stuff is the most energy efficient too.

Thus IKEA and we in the west world who can afford an extra dollar upfront must use our buying power to make the energy efficient chargers the cheapest ones. By only buying them. This isn't harder than phasing out old TV-tubes - I mean, who is making any investments at all in that technology now? Flatscreens are better in all ways. And will be cheapest ones too soon.

Of course is IKEA ignorant and not evil. IKEA did just go for the lowest bidder. Thus some advice still can make a difference: Bodrul Khalique (who designed SPÖKA just needs to call their "almost Swedish" neighbor Sony Ericsson. They have the perfect charger for SPÖKA. Sony Ericsson don't want their phones to be Gross Polluters so they solved the issue years ago. Their standard charger is small, light and never ever gets hot. Problem solved. It might cost a few cents more, but the bag with the gost will get down to half the weight. And the blue ghost can be a bit greener.

A link indicating that IKEA cares about the environment and thus should follow this advice:
http://www.ikea-group.ikea.com/corporate/responsible/index.html

More on IKEA environment initiatives:
http://www.treehugger.com/files/2007/02/ikea_us_to_bag.php

http://www.treehugger.com/files/2005/10/ikeas_environme.php

More on SPÖKA modifications and hacks:
http://geek.selequa.com/2007/01/spkay.html

The original blog (in Swedish) with a few more details. Posted a while ago giving IKEA a fair chance to prepare a charger change if they consider it important enough - and Googles for IKEA frequently. Thus it is possible that the journalist who wants to make a scoop on bad IKEA environmental policy might might get surprised. I really hope so...

Original IKEA SPÖKA blog