Although it's still only a concept, Gilles Belley's Energy Saving Adaptor is pretty fantastic.
His power strip, unlike the ones most of us currently employ, could save 10 percent of our current energy usage by nearly eliminating troublesome phantom loads (or the energy our appliances and gadgets waste when they're shut off, but still plugged in.)
The technology is super smart. Each piece of the adaptor corresponds to a particular device (computer, cell phone charger, etc.). It also monitors that device's energy usage and, when it detects that the device is in standby mode (or sucking power while not being used), it lights up. If the user doesn't press the adaptor's corresponding button within three minutes, the adaptor cuts off the power to that device.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, "In the average home, 75% of the electricity used to power home electronics is consumed while the products are turned off."
And, according to the Live Earth Global Warming Survival Handbook, "If one million households halved their phantom power load, we'd eliminate 150,000 tons of CO2 per year."
Here's to hoping this gadget is ready for production sooner rather than later! Until then, we'll just keep unplugging ...