It’s just not cool to tiptoe around your buddy’s home, ripping cords out of the wall like some kind of conservation fairy. It’s also rather rude to bombard your pal with accusations. (“It’s because of people like you that this planet is going to hell in a handbasket,” won’t be well-received.) Here are a few tactics that’ll make your friend think twice — about wasting energy, not about your friendship:

Boasting Casually

Mention how much money you’ve saved. “About 75 percent of home electronics’ energy consumption occurs when products are shut off but still plugged in. I’ve saved big bucks on electric bills by unplugging.”

Melodramatic Humor

Make a show of running over to the toaster and yanking the cord out of the socket. “Don’t you know that every time you forget to unplug your toaster a polar bear dies?!”

Self-Deprecating Humor

“I know I’m totally anal, but I’m really into unplugging stuff when I’m not using it. Mind if I unplug your TV before we go out?”

Story by Kiera Butler. This article originally appeared in Plenty in August 2008.

Copyright Environ Press 2008.