Recently, I've heard about "Smart" power strips, which eliminate use of electricity by your electronics when they're off. In case you didn't know, a lot of electronics still draw electricity when they're plugged in but off. This applies to things with clocks, such as your microwave, stereo, etc. but also to anything that has a big black box on the plug, like cell phone rechargers and printers. We have taken to turning off the computer when we're finished with it to save on power, but I thought the smart strip might help with the "phantom load" issue, as it is known. An aside: "phantom load" sounds like a phantom poo or something. I kind of feel like it should be used to refer to when my cat takes a crap outside the box and I have to find it, versus electronics drawing power when they're off.
Anyway, so I was checking into the smart power strip tonight, and I found they're cheaper than I expected: only about $45. But then I ran into this article, which had some interesting comments at the bottom. Seriously, read the comments -- it's not like the comments by the weirdos on yahoo news stories; these comments are actually useful and not rude.
Based on the comments, I have a lot of questions about how much power our appliances actually draw and how much these power strips would save me. At this point, I think it's best to keep our old power strips instead of throwing/giving them away and acquiring new ones, since the benefit is questionable. Part of my goal in becoming more environmentally responsible/living sustainably is to reduce waste by not purchasing things that I don't need. I will continue to unplug the rechargers etc that aren't being used, and unplug our power strips when we go on vacation.