The Eco-Button; One Small Click, One Big Change!

 Have you ever wondered how much power your computer consumes when you’re at lunch, on a break, on the phone or in a meeting? How about overnight when you “forget” or are too lazy to turn it off?

Computers and monitors can account for over half of the electricity used in a typical office. One monitor, left on overnight can consume the same amount of energy as a laser printer, printing 800 A4 printed copies!

According to a recent survey, there are over 104 million office computers and over 60 million home computers in the U.S. alone! Of this, over 30 million of those are left on regularly overnight and sometimes, even through an entire weekend. This means that over $1.7billion dollars and almost 15 million tons of CO2 emissions are wasted each year in the USA!

Many companies have tried to incorporate standby initiatives with their computers, asking their employees to put their computers into “standby” mode, in an effort to save them energy and in turn, money. What they don’t realize is that during sleep mode, the computer may still use up to 6 watts and the monitor, another 3-6 watts.

Others try using the “screensaver” thinking that it not only saves the screen, but also energy. In reality a screensaver does nothing to save energy. It might prevent your screen from having a picture burned into it, but if a screensaver is running, that means your computer is running, which equates to absolutely no energy savings.

The largest challenge with a “standby initiative” is that it is subject to human behavior. We are a society that is in a hurry. We’re always running late and most times after a couple weeks, employees get tired of taking the steps to move the computer into standby mode, so they just stop doing it.

Enter the Eco Button!


The Eco Button is a luminated desktop button that plugs into your computer through a USB drive. Once the software is installed on the system, all you have to do to put your computer into serious energy saving mode is to push the button and walk away! The energy saving mode, called Eco-Mode is a deeper sleep than the simple standby mode and uses a low 1.8 watts total.

Taking the computer back out of Eco-Mode is a simple process; just hit the spacebar and the computer will come back up where you left off. Your windows password will be needed to log back in, which is a nice feature for protecting your system from unwanted access while you are away.

The greatest feature of the Eco-Button is in the software. When you install the software, you have the ability to enter in some statistical data regarding the cost you pay for your electricity. Once entered and saved, the software will show you how much money you save during each use, as well as how much CO2 you prevented from being wasted. As you continue to use the Eco-Button, it also keeps track of the combined usage from the day it was installed. I have three Eco-Buttons in use on my three computers and from March, 2008 to December 2008, I have saved $81.00 in electricity cost and 1176 kg’s of CO2.

Now that we have covered the importance of the use of the product, let’s talk about the very powerful branding capabilities of the Eco-Button.

The Eco-Button sits on the top of the desk with its bright green glow, constantly drawing your attention. This makes it a great marketing piece for companies to brand themselves to their target audience! Think about it! Desktop space is VALUABLE and to have your company brand in front of your target audience on a daily basis is priceless. Creating brand awareness is a top priority for most every company and what better way to do that than having constant daily exposure to your brand image?

The Eco-Button costs $15.98 per button at a 100 piece minimum, which includes a one color imprint on the face of the button. Most companies like to know what their CPE (Cost Per Exposure) will be, so figuring that your recipient will see the button on average of 8 times per day, which is a very conservative number, with 22 business days in the average month, that comes to 176 “views” per month!

Using those conservative numbers for one month would put you at $.90 per exposure, meaning in the first month it would be costing you $.90 per view. After three months, your CPE would be down to $.03 per exposure and at six months your CPE would be down to $.01 per exposure. If you make a habit of calculating your CPE’s on all of your marketing efforts, you know that being able to stay in front of your target audience for this kind of cost is a dream come true! You won’t get that with any other form of media or advertising out there.

So whether you or your company have started a standby initiative or are looking to start one, I would highly recommend looking into this great product. Yes, its success still ultimately relies on human behavior, but it is much quicker and easier to push the button and walk away than it is to move your computer in and out of standby mode manually. No matter what you do, just make sure you’re doing something!

 Chris Morrissey is the Owner of Proforma Big Dog Branding, a premier provider of promotional products, printing services, ecommerce websites and eco-friendly marketing solutions.

To reach Chris:;

Posted on December 6, 2008, in Branding your Company, Eco-Friendly Marketing and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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