From The Digital Bits:
...And Smart Strips work like regular power strips - you plug them into the wall outlet, and then you plug all your electronic devices into them. They have three types of outlets in them - control, constant hot and switched. You plug things like cable boxes and DVRs into the constant hot outlet, because they need to have power all the time for recording and communicating with your cable provider. You plug your TV into the control outlet. Then you plug all your other devices, like DVD and Blu-ray players, into the switched outlets. The idea is that when you turn you TV on and off, the Smart Strip detects this and kills power to all those other devices in the switched outlets. You may not realize it, but most of your electronic devices still draw as much as 30-40% power even when they're turned off, which is a huge waste. But when your TV's off, you certainly don't need them on at all. You can also use Smart Strips in your office (having the computer act as a switch for, say, the printer, the monitor, etc). It all adds up, man. All this talk about having to build tons of new power plants in the coming years - if we all just used energy more efficiently, it would make a HUGE difference. What I've done so far in terms of efficiency was easy - just picking the "low hanging fruit" as they say. And I have only just begun to fight! So anyway, the message is that it's easy to do your part. You just have to make the choice. And Earth Day is the perfect day to start.