Standby power, also known as vampire power, the juice used by all those DVD player clocks, coffeepot LEDs and cellphone chargers—accounts for more than 5 percent of all residential electricity use in the U.S., a tab that costs us an estimated $4 billion per year and pumps millions of tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Solution? Turn off your computer at night, unplug your iPod when it’s done charging, or put those gadgets on a power strip for one-touch turn-off.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.