EcoStrip Promises to Save Electricity Wasted by "Vampire Electronics"
Power strips are already a convenient way to utilize one outlet for many functions. This time of year especially, the idea of an effective power strip calls to mind the scene from A Christmas Story where the father nearly causes a house fire as a result of too many Christmas lights and a leg lamp plugged into one outlet. A power strip would have certainly helped his cause. Today, seeing as how we have more electronics than ever, the EcoStrip is sure to be a safe, and not to mention environmentally conscious, solution.
The USB EcoStrip 2.0 is designed to help you conserve energy by cutting off all electricity from devices, many of which require electricity even when turned off, during the hours they are not in use. "Standby power" is the electricity used by devices even when they're not on. In most devices, this is a negligible amount of electricity, but the watts can add up throughout a household and across the nation. The EcoStrip, however, cuts off all power flow to the periphery devices to eliminate standby power when they're turned off. Described as an "energy saving smart power strip with surge protection," the $45 USB EcoStrip 2.0 could potentially save between $1 and $100 a year per workstation, which will vary depending on the user's down time and number of devices. The product has, as its name implies, a USB connection unlike other power strips on the market. The USB cord automates the process of turning off standby power sources of connected peripheral devices when they are not being used.
In an interview with EarthTechling.com, EcoStrip CEO Shawn Bowyer says the company was founded upon a "belief and mission that we could offer a product to the world that would address and combat the growing problem of wasted electricity to standby power and vampire electronics." I love the metaphor!
Bowyer says the product is unique thanks to its award-winning technology, calling it "the most simple and reliable solution available today." He makes a bold claim with which few other products can contend: "It's 100% reliable 100% of the time." Unlike other similar products, such as the HiSaver Power Strip, the EcoStrip doesn't use older threshold or motion sensing technology. Commonly referred to as "automatic" switching outlets, such products are prone to shutting off your devices even when you don't want them to be says Bowyer. He asserts that these products "have a mind of their own." I'm considering what might happen if, while writing this article, my power strip should decide, on its own accord, to turn off my computer. This could potentially result in a power strip being thrown through a window.
So what's the big deal with standby power anyway? Bowyer says, "The negative effects on individuals and businesses in North America last year was estimated to be 11 billion dollars of wasted power leading to millions of tons of carbon dioxide emissions." If necessity is the mother of invention, clearly these numbers present the necessity, and this invention solves the growing problem. You can buy the EcoStrip here.