Eco Button: Save Energy By Buying Something Unnecessary

Attach this "Eco Button" to your PC and it will send your computer into power-saving mode. You know, the mode that you can already send your computer into by pressing the power button, selecting an option from a menu, or closing a laptop's lid. Even better, the Eco Button is illuminated, the better to remind you that you're wasting more of the planet's resources unnecessarily just by keeping it plugged into your computer's USB port. "One small click[;] one big change" is the company's motto. Too bad the click that would make the largest change would be the one that powered down their webservers forever. Fortunately, the Eco Button doesn't seem to actually be on sale yet. Let's hope it stays that way. Product Page [ via Geeksugar]
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21 Responses to Eco Button: Save Energy By Buying Something Unnecessary

  1. stygyan says:

    I think it’s something like buying Che Guevara’s prints and merchandising, being Che the communist he was, and being against capitalism (yeah kids, the same thing that make you able to buy those prints).

    It’s called the irony of life. Or something like that.

  2. Andrew says:

    Wow. A little harsh.

    I don’t really see the difference between this and the one touch buttons on my logitech keyboard.

    People like convenience. Some people are probably too ignorant to figure out how to do this using menus. If this encourages people to save energy, it’s probably a good thing.

    I suppose you don’t use speed dial buttons on your phone either do you?

  3. Scuba SM says:

    Wait. So an eco-button thread managed to spawn a Mac vs PC debate? Can we just invoke Godwin’s Law and call it a day?

  4. dculberson says:

    There’s a difference between “using speed dial buttons” and buying a manufactured product shipped several times over long distances intended to ‘save the environment.’ Joel was pointing out the hypocrisy of the eco-button. It’s more like the uneco-button.

  5. CaptainKabob says:

    @andrew: yeah, I think it’s a little harsh too but it definitely illustrates two camps for reducing our environmental impact:

    (1) have people be more knowledgeable of their environmental impact (education/awareness) and thus be more likely to reduce their environmental impact on their own (eg, figure out how to put your computer to sleep on its own, and do it), or

    (2) co-op/modify existing processes (people like pressing blinky buttons with claims that they “save the planet!(c)”) with the ends (less environmental impact) hopefully justifying the means (inefficient button creation)

  6. TheCelavi says:

    Oh man, you blasted me away. The best joke on ever!

    If you wont to trash physically their web server, like, go there and take a baseball bat and kick that energy waster, I AM IN!

    I heard for a lot of stupid things, but this one, not the top 10, but top 10 with style. They have a slogan for this? God, someone kill me please…

  7. says:

    I think there’s a lot of people that would buy this thing to put in their office. Not so much because it helps the planet as much as it being a big shiny object that will let other people know that they are helping the planet.

    There’s a lot of stuff like this out there. The biggest, IMHO, is hybrid vehicles. Sure, that hybrid you’re driving is emitting less polluting chemicals, and everyone gets to see you “saving mother earth”, but in the long run all hybrids do is squelch the demand for ZERO emission solutions like hydrogen or solar.

  8. energyefficientnation says:

    Energy Efficient Nation

  9. Tom says:

    @5: The best is the enemy of the good. Fortunately hybrid manufacturers realize they can make money and improve the quality of life by selling the good while the best is still a work in progress.

    The real problem with hibernate mode is that you can’t run an anti-virus scan overnight if you hibernate your machine.

    Other than keeping a separate machine that I use only for banking and online trading there doesn’t seem to be a way around this. And yeah, despite using Firefox and NoScript, AVG does find an infected file once a year or so, which is enough to make the nightly scan part of my routine.

    Computer viruses are an environmental hazard.

  10. dannysland says:

    …in the long run all hybrids do is squelch the demand for ZERO emission solutions like hydrogen or solar.

    You might as well say that all bicycles do is squelch demand for walking, and all walking shoes do is squelch demand for walking barefoot.

    Regardless, the button is dumb.

  11. TwoShort says:

    “ZERO emission solutions like hydrogen or solar.”

    “Solar” is never going to power a significant fraction of our energy needs. “Hydrogen” is not a power source at all.
    Hybrids only make a little difference, but they make a real difference today, as opposed to a theoretical one in the future, so they get the thumbs up from me.
    Of course, it makes a much bigger difference to go entirely car-free, and just ride a bike. But not everyone has the imagination for that :)

  12. Anonymous says:

    I see this thing is on sale at two big UK gadget gift sites – the irony, the agony, the stupidity, the self righteous idiocy… oh god oh god.. oh god..

    Well if you can’t beat them – I’m off to invent a USB compatible, uranium powered robot to switch your TV from ‘standby’ mode to ‘off’ mode. I’m going to paint it green, so everyone knows it’s good for the environment.

  13. Halloween Jack says:

    *sigh* Some BB threads seem to be nothing more than commenters trying to improve their zero-to-stupid time.

  14. desp says:

    @6: Have you considered, you know, a Mac?

  15. GabeH says:

    @ #12 TWOSHORT: I believe your statement that “solar” will never power a significant fraction of our energy needs is about as on target as Thomas Watson’s puported statement that the world only needed five computers.
    I see a day when we can print an entire single-family home’s worth of 80% efficiency solar PV shingles for today’s equivalent of $1,000. When that day comes most homeowners will make more than they need and sell it back to the tower blocks of the cities.
    I agree with your assessment of Hydrogen as a “fuel source,” in that it is not a source, but is instead a (inefficient) energy transportation method.
    Hybrids don’t make much of a difference in “hard” numbers, but they do convey a psychological benefit in that the general public sees more and more hybrid drivers on the road and the sense that mainstream people care about the environment spreads. My argument here is similar to my response to those who point out that Al Gore’s jetsetting ways produce X amount of carbon emissions, whereby I respond that Mr. Gore emitted X carbon to enable his advocacy, which spreads awareness to a large number of people who in turn may possibly reduce their own (aggregate) carbon emissions 1000X.

  16. Tom says:

    The first funny thing is that anyone would think that anyone on BBG would not have considered a Mac.

    The second funny thing is that the Eco-button is Windows only, which gives a small hint as to why some of us are stuck with Microsoft.

  17. Anonymous says:

    I’m not sure the criticisms of this device are fair. The times I’ve tried using the standby mode on my computer, the thing still continues to run at what seems to be full tilt.
    If this device will take it to a deeper power-down mode, it could do more of what I want it to do.
    Plus, it’s the first easy-to-use device I’ve seen.
    If there’s a software fix that could be a one-click solution on the desktop,I haven’t found it.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Maybe everyone should take a minute to do some homework before bashing a company for trying to make a marginal impact in the amount of energy wasted in this world.

    Had you done your homework, you’d realize that the “sleep” mode on your computer uses more watts of energy than the sleep mode that the button allows you to enter. And even if it’s only saving a small amount more than traditional sleep mode, everyone knows that people are lazy. If people can save energy by pushing a shiny object, let them do it. I want to save energy even if it’s in tiny steps each day.

    An office containing 8600 computers would save close to $50k in their electric bill per year if everyone used the ecobutton for ONE hour per day (that does not include lower AC bills because of the heat generated by computers left on for no reason). So stop complaining about these manufacturers. At the very least you can’t deny they’re bringing the issue into debate. We can at least thank them for that much right?

  19. mrsomuch says:

    #8 wins the thread. how do ya like them apples?!

  20. mrsomuch says:

    also #13/12

    I think people think about solar energy in entirely the wrong way, to convert one energy source (heat, primarily) into another (electrical) is hugely innefficient. It would be much better (imvho) to concetntrate on it’s uses as a thermal energy provider rather than a photovaltaic one. we should promote mechanical means like wind/tidal etc to generate electricity and design with all of these systems integrated (i.e passive solar designed houses, solar hot water/refrigeration systems) these are also much more passive in their production and technologies than a pv panel, no matter how advanced it may be.

  21. Anonymous says:

    You can purchase this on Poor Richards, I saw it on their today.

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