sleeping_moon-medium.jpgTeaching young kids how to power down the computer is a great way to help them understand the importance of saving energy. Now there is a fun and easy way to do that – the turnOFFtool. Created by a team of Stanford students for a school project, the turnOFFtool was inspired by discussions with parents who expressed how difficult it is for a young child to remember all the steps involved in shutting a computer down. The turnOFFtool, which is free and can be downloaded to your computer in a matter of minutes, bypasses all of the steps it usually takes for you to turn off your computer. Instead, all you have to do is click on a little moon icon which is always available on the screen (or minimized at the bottom of your screen). When you click on the moon, your computer will automatically shut down – or you can easily set it to sleep, if you prefer. Currently, the tool only runs on Windows, but future versions will work with Macs, too, and will allow users to add text or sound effects and select their own picture. For the record, though, we think the moon image with the zzzz’s couldn’t be cuter more appropriate for kids to get the “sleep” metaphor. Bravo, Stanford guys — we likey!

Find It Here: turnOFFtool

Eco Fact: According to the Harvard Green Campus Initiative, leaving a computer on all day for a year could result in more than 1500 pounds of CO2 being released into the atmosphere. To put that into context, it would take 100-500 trees to offset that amount of extra CO2!

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