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I like to think of myself as being quite a green and eco friendly person. I recycled from before it became fashionable, we compost, we grow our own, we even save up our plastic recycling till we have a car load and then my hubbie takes it to the recycling point in the town where he works as our council don't touch it, and we are about to have solar panels put on the roof of our house.
One area I am conscious of is that my PC is turned on at the start of the day when I wake, and is left on all day. Being a busy mum, I have to do 3 lots of school runs, as well as walking the dog, cooking meals and doing household chores, but I want to be able to hop onto the computer between tasks and have the window I want open and ready to go. My computer, is next to me, the hardest working member of the household in terms of managing it. From checking out prices online, to paying bills, to me working and earning money.
Although I had it switched to go onto standby after a few minutes of inactivity, I felt this could be even better, and when I read a review on this little device, I knew that I should purchase one to help make a small saving.
The cost of the device was around £7 from amazon, although I have seen it available cheaper than this if you look around.
It is a really simple piece of kit. On opening the box, I was shocked at how little. It is the button you see above, with a cable attached to a USB connector. I have a lot of items that are USB connected, so I need to connect this into the front of my computer, and I also need to take it out occasionally to connect other items such as my MP3 player to the computer to add tracks or to charge it. I initially thought this might upset my computer, as when using USB pen drives in the past, I have just pulled them out and the computer has then flashed messages to me about it not being safe to do so. This is not an issue with this device. It can be swapped at my will.
There was no CD with the device, so I had to go online to their website to register and to download the little programme that works with this button. It took a few minutes to do, and it has not affected my PC's performance in any way. If I need to, I can redownload this software at any point.
On first downloading, I was asked to input some details, like how much my electric costs per unit. I had this information to hand, though I had to put it in as dollars rather than UK pounds. It is enough to get the gist though of the money saving and the carbon saving you get each time you use the device.
I have found the device so simple to use. It glows a bright green when the computer is on, and pressing it instantly brings up a script box at the bottom left of the screen near the start menu, and it shows a few different programmes in this box, before the screen goes dark.
When I come back to the computer, a press of any button starts it again. The first screen I see is this programme, telling me the money and carbon saved in this session and in the history of using the device. Pressing any key on the keyboard then allows me to go back to my work, where any windows I was using are still there and ready to go.
Well, one or two, but only minor.
As already mentioned, it is powered through a USB port. Nowadays, a lot of devices are, so I find that it is hard to find a spare slot in the computer. It can be a pain unplugging some other cable to get this in, but it is worthwhile.
Also, my computer desk is quite small, and not that tidy as I often have all kinds on the go. Receipts to check against the bank account, letters from school, bills to pay, and so on.I found that because my tower is in a cupboard, I could only really position it in one place near my desk, which was pretty much under my left elbow, so without meaning to, I have leant onto it a few times and turned it off.
Another slight dilemna is that the green glow is very attractive to the kids, and it has not taken them long to work out what pressing it does. My 5 year old knows if he presses it then his brother can't make it come back, and the 3 year old already knows pressing it is the quickest way to get mummy's attention again.
None of these problems are that significant though.
Cost savings are minimal. An hour of standby time saved has saved about 4p, and about 4 units of carbon. Not exactly earth shattering so far, but I am definitely of the mindset that a penny saved is a penny earned. It will take me a while to regain the cost of purchase, but it is a purchase I am happy with.
Being someone who is wanting to do their part for the environment I am always on the lookout for anything that can help me to implement new things in to my daily life so when I saw the Eco Button I decided it was well worth giving a try but has it been something that makes a difference?
Installation and setup of the Eco Button is very easy as you simply plug the little button in via the usb cable which is attached and then visit the Eco Button website to install the software and you are ready to go.
The Eco Button looks smart as it sits there on your computer desk lighting up with a bright green colour and dimming down when not in use just to remind you it is there.
Software that monitors your money and carbon savings mean that you can see you are making a difference (even if a small one) and so you are more likely to keep using this.
Using the Eco Button really is easy. Simply push the button when you wish to turn your PC to sleep mode to save the energy and the PC will then sit in sleep mode until you are ready to use it again (you wake PC's up in different ways so may need to press a key on your keyboard or push your power button).
The Eco Button is a reasonably well priced item (normally around £10 but can be found cheaper if you shop around and available from the likes of Amazon and Play) and as it is something making you savings when you use it then it is a good investment.
The Eco Button itself is very lightweight as it is made of very lightweight plastics which mean that if you decide you wish to move it then it is easy to do.
Some people will feel this looks cheap as it is all made ot plastics and has a green colour base and light but for me this is something designed to remind you of the green credentials and so I don't have a problem with this.
Overall this is a very well designed and easy to setup product. Once you have everything setup and ready to go then you will find it something you will use regularly (much more than you would think) as you will have times when the phone rings, there is someone at the door, you are going to have something to eat or even just that you want to have a quick shower but know that you want to go back on the PC straight after then rather than leave it all running and burning power why not sleep it. Well priced and saving you money whilst it saves the environment this is something that is a great little piece of kit to have on your computer desk as you do your part in saving our planet.
~~~ Eco Button ~~~
It was this time last year that I first purchased my Eco Button and being quite impressed with this nifty little gadget, I purchased more as little Christmas stocking fillers for my family. Usually such little gifts are just whimsy and nonsense, but the Eco Button is just as practical as it is fun (in a nerdy sort of way).
The Eco Button is aimed towards people who regularly utilise a home computer, be it desktop or laptop, as it reduces energy used, and CO2 emissions, and keeps a tally of your savings.
~~~ Price ~~~
Prices fluctuate immensely, so shop around. Today, it can be found around the £8.00 mark, although I paid only £6 each last year. I still think it's a bargain, and it will pay for itself in no time.
~~~ The Product ~~~
When you buy the Eco Button, it comes packaged in a bubble of plastic, mounted on a piece of cardboard. Getting into the packaging is the most difficult part of setting this product up. Along with the button, the packaging contains a cardboard sheet with a few facts about electricity usage, and instructions for installation.
~~~ Installation ~~~
The Eco Button plugs directly into your computer via a USB connection. A metre long length of wire links the button to the USB, so you can position your button within easy reach. When in use, the button glows and dims with a neon green colour, it's quite unobtrusive and it becomes quite soothing after a while. I do find the colour is quite effective at reminding me to use it, as well as going with the 'green' theme.
You are then asked to visit the website http://www.eco-button.com/home/home.htm where you'll be given the instructions for downloading the software required. This is a simple process and all you really have to do is click on 'download software' and it will be all done in less than 30 seconds. As I don't still own the packaging, I had to check how much of your memory this equipment utilises, and it's a minimal 5.25MB.
I found that once the software has finished downloading, it started to load automatically. At this point I was greeted with a screen in which you select which type of computer you're using (desktop/laptop) and then it will ask you for statistics about electricity usage. I'm not at all technical minded (although I love technology and gadgets) so I clicked on the default setting for my laptop.
~~~ How it works ~~~
The idea of the Eco Button is that if you should need to turn off your computer for a short while; instead of having to wait for the machine to shut down, and then boot back up, your computer will be put on standby mode.
While the computer is dormant, the Eco Button will add up how much electricity you're saving in real money, and also calculating how much CO2 this equates to. If you are like me, and not sure how much electricity a watt is, or a megawatt; I simply cannot visualise the two - having a monetary equivalent enables me to measure exactly how much money I am saving by not leaving the computer running, and putting it on standby instead. This is a great motivator for using the product, rather than see it languishing unused, especially with utility prices rising year upon year.
When pressed, the Eco Button will immediately begin working on your statistics, and when the button is pressed again, you'll be presented with a page listing how much electricity you've saved in £'s, and how much CO2 you've saved in KG. You will also get a total of how much you've saved so far each day, and also a running total how much money you've saved since you installed it. It is estimated that you will save approximately £50 per year, and 135kg of CO2. Sadly, I cannot confirm this as my computer decided to play silly beggars last month, and it had to be taken back to factory settings, but in the three to four weeks I've been using this button again, my total is back up to £3.00 saved; not bad considering.
~~~ My Thoughts ~~~
I love this little money saving gadget. It's handy to have my work saved, and all my tabs open where I need them, so I can resume what I was doing before I got called away from my computer; be it to answer the door, or pop to the shops etc. It may not be a necessity, and to some people it may be deemed a waste of money; I would argue the point though, that as it saves money how can it be a waste?
Most highly recommended.
Thanks for reading my review. I do hope it has been of some use to you.
This may also be posted on other sites, under the same username.
This is a great product for everyone who what to make a difference. It great for feeling like your making a difference and being eco-friendly. But the best part is every time you use it your saving a little bit of money. And that the best feeling ever. I have one of these on all my computers and I'm so glad i brought my first as i now can't live with out them
What It Does
This product saves electricity by turning PC's onto a sleep mode that uses minimum amount of power and electricity with the press of a button and turns it back in a matter of seconds. It plugs into your computer via the USB port and sits next to your PC for easy use. This product is said to save you up to £50 per year and approx 135kg of CO2 per year so its a win-win situation.
Appearance & Size
This gadget looks amazing on any desk or workstation. It has a quirky design with blue and green colours to symbolise the earth, as it is an environmentally friendly product in its use. The centre button has the design of the earth to further show this.
The size of the product is also very handy as it can easily fit on a workstation or desk. But it's big enough to be easily pressed when it's needed for use.
Ease of Use & Reliability
The product is very easy to use, it has a USB plug so can be attached to your computer. The product is probably the easiest thing ever to use, nothing is easier than pressing a button! Plug in, Press, and start saving! What could be easier?
Its also very reliable, it hasn't ever not work and I've had it for a good few months. It only ever needs to be pressed once, never has it needed to be frantically hit to work and it'll turn back on more or less instantly. A very easy to use and reliable product
Overall, it looks good, saves money and the environment, it incredibly easy to use and always works. It is the ultimate eco-friendly, money saving product
Apparently I am one of those people who is difficult to buy for at Christmas. As an inevitable consequence I received quite a few things that I neither needed nor wanted. My initial assessment was that this product was a waste of time and was just a bit of a gimmick. I couldn't see myself using it and resolved to 'ebay' it instead.
I checked the ebay listings and found that these go for as little as a fiver - hardly worth the bother, so I thought I would give it a go. It is easy to set up and install on either the PC or laptop and all the user needs to do is to remember to press the ecobutton each time they leave their computer for a little break.
Initially I couldn't see where the benefit would be as all computers have a facility whereby you can put your machine into stand by or hibernate modes, so if I wanted to do this, the option is there for me. That said, I am the first to acknowledge that when breaks are of only a small duration, I seldom bother and as far as hibernate is concerned, this is only used if I am going to be away for a few hours as it takes ages to come back to life after hibernation.
This little device has had some good publicity and I was familiar with its operation on unwrapping the present; it was only last week that I actually installed it and it now sits beside the laptop. Both myself and my wife have often forgotten to use it and we shout "Eco!" to each other when the other gets up from the desk.
According to the manufacturers and obviously the extent to which you use the device, you can save up to £50.00 per year off your electricity bill. You can also save a couple of planets as well, I think. All the detail is referenced on the ecobutton website, but for those who get off on this kind of thing, the device keeps a running total via its software as to how ecofriendly you have been as regards the number of carbon units saved.
We doubt whether that level of saving is going to be possible for us given our level of usage, but it does no harm sitting there to the left of the laptop, glowing at us and attached to the laptop via a USB cable. Sometimes in the evening, we actually use a laptop as a laptop whilst sprawled in a chair and it's bad enough trying to find room to use a mouse, never mind having an ecobutton connected as well.
I'm not much of an eco warrior and I don't really understand all the technology involved, but I am willing to give this little fellow the benefit of the doubt.
This is a wicked little product for those who are conscientious about their energy consumption. It is a button that can be connected to your computer, which you press whenever taking a break away from the computer, whether for something short such as a phone call, or to go and make dinner or go out for a jog, and when pressed puts your computer into the most energy efficient mode possible. When you return to your computer you simply press a button on your keyboard or click the mouse and your computer returns to life in seconds.
The product connects to your computer or laptop vie a simple USB cable and it can be used with software that will show you exactly how much energy you are saving over time and how much money you have saved in pressing the button. Obviously it takes a while to build up any really meaningful savings but the software records your savings for as long as you've been using it.
It may be a problem if you cannot connect to the internet to download the software, but at least you will still know that you are saving energy and money, just not how much. The software was quick and easy to download and the button simple to use. On downloading the software, you are asked to enter your laptops specifications. It being a present for my Mother, I had no idea so I had to use the default settings. This makes me think that the savings in energy and money will be more of an indication rather than an absolute as to how much you have saved. Either way, you get some satisfaction knowing you are not wasting energy unnecessarily.
I bought the Eco Button for around £7 with free delivery and I feel this was worth it, especially as it will get a lot of use in my house. I had no problems with packaging unlike the previous reviewer, indeed it came with barely any packaging or info at all. I also found that it took a bit longer than advertised to wake the computer up but a little patience is all that is required here.
In this day and age, it's a sheer necessity to watch what we spend as our bank balances as a nation have taken a hit over the last few years with a nasty recession. Therefore there's no doubt been a huge increase in the amount of money saving ideas to have hit the market in recent years, in an attempt to latch onto the saturated market of people desperately trying to save every penny they can.
It's with this in mind, that we purchased an Eco Button (sounds fancy doesn't it?), it also sounds a bit more grand than it actually is. No, this isn't a button that, when pressed switches your house from an electricity/water guzzling monster, to an eco friendly abode that even the Toyota Prius driving celebrities would be proud of. The Eco Buttons range is actually rather limited. You see, it's an attractive little gadget aimed solely towards the people who regularly use a PC or a laptop, as it aims to cut down electricity and CO2 use. But how?
Well, before we get to that, let me just tell you that this nifty little gadget is currently available from Amazon for £8.36, a little overpriced for what it actually is, in all honesty. I paid £7.50 for this from the same seller and encountered an astronomical delivery charge of £13. Therefore, if you spot a bargain, either on or offline, then snap it up fast as prices are constantly fluctuating.
I told you I was going to explain how it works its magic didn't I? Don't worry I didn't forget. So, here goes - the Eco Button plugs into your computer via the USB slot and then it works exactly as you'd expect, as a button. If your computer is not in use, however, you would like it to remain on for whatever reason, simply hit the Eco Button and within seconds your computer will be put on standby mode. Not only that, but while the computer is in standby mode, your little eco friend will become something of a Carol Vorderman for you, adding up how much electricity you're saving in GBP and also calculating how much CO2 this equates to. Sounds fantastic doesn't it?
When you buy the Eco Button, it will be presented to you in a rather attractive, yet somewhat superfluous oversized packaging (so much for saving the planet!), on the packaging you'll be presented with some simple, yet interesting facts, that not only inform you of what the Eco Button achieves, but also some worrying facts about electricity usage, both around the home and in the office. The packaging is extremely hard to get into, but once you're in you'll be greeted with a modest piece of card giving you your set up instructions.
To set up you're told to visit the website http://www.eco-button.com/home/home.htm where you'll be presented with some well laid out instructions for downloading the software required to utilise the Eco Button. Don't worry, this is nothing overly complicated, you simply click on 'download software' and the software will begin downloading immediately and will be done within around 20 seconds. For those of you worried about hard drive space - fear not, as it will take up a mere 5.25MB of your memory, less than the average song when put in perspective. Once the software has finished downloading, it will load automatically, presenting you with a screen in which you select which type of computer you're using (desktop/laptop) and then it will ask you for stats about electricity usage. Luckily, if you don't know these, it's not an issue as there will be a default setting for both laptops and computers, so if you're unsure just click default and then the application will automatically close. All that's left is to plug in the Eco Button and you're away...
When your computer/laptop is on and the Eco Button is plugged in, the button will illuminate constantly, giving you a handy reminder to use it whenever possible. When you need to use it, simply press down gently on the area (the button never sticks) and the computer will immediately be put on standby for you. When you return, simply turn the computer on as you would if it was turned off and whatever you were doing onscreen will be there for you to carry on with. When pressed, the Eco Button will immediately begin working on your statistics. When the computer is turned back on, you'll be presented with the home screen of the installed application, which will make you aware of how much electricity you've saved in GBP, as well as how much CO2 you've saved in KG. Not only will you get a running total of how much it's saved on the day you've used it, but you'll also get a total of how much it's saved since you installed the application. Let's face it, this isn't going to save you hundreds of pounds everyday, even if you use the button 24/7, but it's been estimated that the button can save you around £50 a year - not bad eh?
What you're probably wondering is, why an Eco Button is needed when you can manually put the computer onto standby to save electricity when not in use. This is, of course, a valid point, however, how often do you actually put your computer onto standby when you're not using it? For me it was once in a blue moon, however, having the Eco Button flashing on the desk encourages me to put it on standby everytime I use it, whether it's to go to the shops for 2 hours, or simply nip to the loo. It's encouraging to know that you're saving money and that's what the Eco Button does. Also, it's nice to keep a check on how much money you're actually saving, which, of course manually putting the computer on standby will not do.
So are there any downsides to the Eco Button? Well, if there are I've yet to come across them, this is a fantastic little device that can be used on more than one computer/laptop. Of course, the software must be installed on both systems, however, once this is done you're able to use the Eco Button on more than one system, gaining a separate running total for each.
The chord for the Eco Button is fairly substantial and, if necessary this can be plugged into the back of the CPU and stretched round to sit at the front of the desk, however, for ease of use and convenience we like to plug it in the front of the CPU, therefore it's easy to be unplugged if you don't need to use it. Unplugging this device is rare, however, the handle is a little wider than the average USB handle. This isn't a problem if the other USB you're using is of usual size, however, if you've got two large USB handles then you may have to unplug one to get the other to go in. Which, although isn't a huge problem can be something of an inconvenience in the rare occasion that another equally large USB needs to be used.
All in all I have to say that this is a truly fantastic little money saving device, that in the long run could save you quite a few pennies. Ok, so it may not be absolutely necessary to know how much you're saving, however, it's a huge encouragement and surely, if it's going to encourage money saving it can only be a positive thing, can't it?