A $10 Defense Against Vampire Electronics
When computers, TVs, and other appliances are turned off but not unplugged, they continue use some energy. And while many of us endeavor to unplug, say, our cell phone chargers when we're not using them, across-the-board unplugging isn't exactly an ideal solution for all appliances. In the absence of a real transition to smarter outlets that make vampire energy a thing of the past, the Belkin Conserve Socket Power Timer looks to be a clever partial fix. The Conserve automatically shuts off power (including standby power) to your electronics after either half an hour, three hours, or six hours.
I'll concede that a petroleum-based solution (it's plastic) to the problem of wasted energy is imperfect. But the Conserve is a tech-friendly stepping stone to a future with smarter outlets—and the act of spending $10 on one will help keep you aware of the vampire energy issue. That, and it's a safeguard against accidentally burning down your house by forgetting to unplug a curling iron.