Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Little Black Box

How much time at an average is your computer monitor ON everyday? I average about 8 hours at work, an hour every night and possibly 3 hours on a non-date night.

Greenpeace Brazil is working on a cool project and simple proposition for people who spend too much on their computers; programmers, Facebook stalkers and gaming geeks mostly. Save energy by annulling one pixel of your computer screen. It’s the Greenpeace's Black Pixel Project.

What's the color of your screen got to do with saving carbon emissions? In a nutshell, a monitor uses less energy to display a black page than a white one (in a CRT monitor, it's about 74 watts for an all white web page and only 59 watts for an all black one). This subject was in the news a few years ago when ago it was noted that a black version of Google would save energy. It became so popular that Blackle a black version of Google was created. (No, I didn’t not just make that up).

If you think about it, do you think one pixel can make a difference? According to Greenpeace, blacking out one pixel saves about 0.057 watts per hour, so if one million people join, its about 57 thousand watts per hour. This is the equivalent of about 1400, 40Watt light-bulbs turned off every hour.

The idea is pretty simple; you download a light piece of software that places a black square in your monitor (it can be placed anywhere on the screen). I tried it; look at the pictures that go along with this post. What you pretty much get is a little black box on your screen which eventually you will learn to ignore.

Besides feeling like I’m constantly saving energy, I’ve been moving the box around to entertain myself- I black out emails I want to ignore, cover up faces of men who broke my heart or just move it around for fun when I’m bored.

Little black boxes are cool.