The Eco Button™ is a device that is designed to help computer users save energy. Many times when a person has to leave their computer, they will leave it on or in sleep or hibernate mode. Even in low power modes, the computer is still drawing electricity. The Eco Button™ is designed to put the computer in a low power mode similar to being turned off. The idea is that by pushing the Eco Button™ every time a person leaves their computer, that person will money on energy and reduce their carbon footprint.
The Eco Button™ is attached to computer via a USB cable. It is about 2.2 x 0.6 inches (5.5 x 1.5 cm) and glows to remind users to push it before leaving their computers. It is meant to reside by the keyboard in order to be easily reached and to enable it to be used as a reminder. Software will also have to be installed in order for the device to work. When installed, the software gives instructions to the computer to use low power settings when the button is pushed.
The main reason for this device is that many people don’t like to turn off their computers or put them in standby or hibernate mode when they leave their computers. This is because many computers, particularly older ones, take a while to reactivate when turned back on. The Eco Button™ claims that with a push of a button—or the power button on some computers—that users will be able to quickly get right back to where they were working. The manufacturers of the button also say that the button will work on most types of computers but warns that older computers may have trouble reactivating.
Some of those who criticize the device say that is an unnecessary feature that does the same thing that the hibernate or standby feature on the computer does. Others also say that the light the Eco Button™ uses also wastes electricity and that the plastic the button is made out of defeats the purpose of helping to save the environment. Some people wonder if the cost of manufacturing, shipping, disposing of the packaging, using, and recycling the button is even worth the effort. It should be noted, however, that the manufacturers of the Eco Button™ say that the plastic the button is made of is made from recyclable materials. They also say that the low power function the Eco Button™ uses is not the same as the hibernate function but uses less energy than the computer's hibernate mode.