Always end up leaving your cell phone plugged in to charge overnight — even though you know that habit will run up your electric bill while wearing down your battery life? A simple green gadget could help. The Belkin Conserve Socket will let you charge your electronic for a set time — then cut off the power so electricity doesn’t get wasted.

Basically, you can set the Belkin Conserve Socket to pull electricity for a limited period — from just a half hour for, say, your curling iron to six hours for your dehydrator. Once that time limit’s reached, the Conserve Socket turns off automatically — so your curling iron doesn’t start burning up your bathroom curtains or your raw flaxseed crackers turn too crispy.

Simply plug it into the wall, set the timer on the side, then hit the on switch on the top after plugging in the device of your choice. The gadget’s like an in-between version of the iGo Power Smart Tower — a bigger and pricier smart strip that’ll turn on every half hour to monitor electricity use — and Practecol strips and adaptors — simpler gadgets with manual flip on, flip off switches. I found the iGo too noisy for my liking, love the Practecol for items I use when I’m awake (and thus remember to hit the switch to turn the power off), and now use the Conserve Socket for items I need to charge while I sleep.

I usually have the Conserve Socket set to 3 hours — so it can juice up my Blackberry in the first few hours after I get in bed. How do you avoid vampire power waste at home?

The opinions expressed by MNN Bloggers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of While we have reviewed their content to make sure it complies with our Terms and Conditions, MNN is not responsible for the accuracy of any of their information.