As much as many of us love and rely on our gadgets, our computers and cell phones and whatever else plugs into an outlet, we also hate to waste electricity and the money that goes down the drain with it. Here are a couple of gadgets that will help you stay green year-round by cutting down on wasted electricity. Daniel Vasquez, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
AT&T recently announced the release of its ZERO Charger, which does not waste power when left plugged in and improves charging efficiency when powering a USB-charged device, like a Netbook or cell phone. That's a feature worth having, considering a standard charger left plugged into a wall wastes enough electricity to power 24,000 homes for a year. The ZERO Charger will be available this summer, but AT&T is offering it for 40 percent off for customers who recycle old handset devices. Price: $29.99, about $18 with discount.
Smart power strips
Power strips manage your home's electrical consumptions, and smart power strips manage your budget by allowing users to have a single master outlet that controls six other auxiliary outlets. When the master outlet suddenly stops using large amounts of power (because devices attached to it are on stand-by mode), it automatically shuts down the auxiliary outlets, too. Also, if you plug your "master electronic" like a computer into the master outlet, all the periphery devices — such as printers, speakers and external hard drives — are automatically turned off. And if you have cable or a DVR and don't want all of your peripheries to turn off, a smart power strip also has three constant outlets that behave like normal, so you won't miss any favorite sports events or TV shows. Smart power strips are available at most electronics stores and start around $25.