17 Ways to Save Money—And the Planet
Voltaic backpacks and messenger bags have the first built-in solar panels powerful enough to charge a laptop. They also come with adapters to charge cell phones and most other handheld electronics ( VoltaicSystems.com ).
Electronics consume 10 to 20 percent of their energy when they are "off"—what Michelle calls vampire use. An improvement on power strips are smart strips: You plug in the stuff you wish to synchronize in shutdown. For example, before you go to bed, you turn off your TV and it automatically shuts off the other items on the strip (DVD, stereo, laptop). In two years you'll recoup the cost of the strip ($40 on Amazon.com ). After that, free money.