Green Tip: Unplug Vampires
Electronics like computers, televisions, and cell phone chargers continue to draw power even when you're not using them, so kill these "vampires" at the source. Power outlets in New Zealand (pictured) have handy on/off switches, and Kiwis are encouraged to keep their switches in the off position. We're hoping that trend will migrate to the States, but until then, you can save power by plugging your desktop, printer, and fax machine into a "smart" power strip. Smart strips can sense when electronics are idle and cut off the power flow to vampires. Devices like the WattStopper and the Smart Strip Power Strip can be ordered online. While you're awaiting the arrival of your new smart strip, you can accomplish the "smart" part by simply unplugging unused appliances yourself.