“I like it because we’re not asking people to move a mountain. All we’re saying is, when you’ve finished your work, just turn your computer off and your printer off and the light in your office off — and you’ve made a change.”
You might be thinking, does this really make a difference? Ballard reminds us that every little bit counts.
“If we get 10,000 or 20,000 people to say, ‘I could just flick that switch,’ then it would make a huge difference. . . . The first year we had successes. The second year, it got bigger. This year, it’s already far exceeded our expectations and we haven’t even reached Power IT Down Day yet. There’s also the nice aspect that, the better we do as a collective, the more money we get to give to the wounded warrior.”
So, even if you’re not the most eco-friendly person in the world, turning off your lights is helping others.
“It’s crazy from a security point of view and it’s crazy from an ecological point of view. The [thought] is that you have to leave the computer on just in case IT has to issue a vital patch during the night. To Intel, that’s crazy talk. There are technologies out there available now — the vPro technology . . . Which means every machine turns off at night, and if you have to patch a machine, you can remotely turn every one of those machines on securely, patch them, check that they’re correctly working, and turn them all off.”
Although there is no actual reward for signing up at the site, Ballard says you not only get to help wounded troops, you get to leave at the end of the day next Friday knowing you are helping the environment, too.
“When [participants] press enter, they walk away knowing that if they actually do turn their machine and their printer and their screen off at night, they have become part of the solution.”