If you’ve ever wondered just what kind of carbon footprint you’re putting down as you go about your everyday business, here’s a free gadget that can help you figure it out. ECOBOT is a tiny Adobe Air application that installs on your computer (Windows, Mac, and Linux), and analyzes the amount of power, fuel, and paper – yes, paper – you use daily. Once you’re in the know, you’ll be able to figure out where you need to cut back.
This tiny app can’t be beat when it comes to tracking fuel consumption. If you install it on a laptop and input information on the various wireless networks you use regularly (home, work, coffee shop), ECOBOT will automatically calculate the distance when you switch from one network to another. The app prompts you to enter the method of travel and adds that distance to your trip history so it can report back on how much fuel you’re using. Suddenly, that weekly drive across town to that little bistro with WiFi might not look so appealing. If you don’t have a laptop, you can still enter your car travel data manually.
ECOBOT also automatically figures out how much power your computer is using, and spits out data whenever you need it. If you provide additional information about other power sources you use regularly like video games systems, TVs, fans, and vacuum cleaners, you’ll get an even more accurate picture of your power consumption.
Even though we’re trending toward a paperless society, we still use a lot of the paper in our daily lives. ECOBOT automatically keeps an eye on how much your printing from your computer, and tracks other paper products if you like. Just log in all the newspapers, magazines and other paper-based products you buy for a clearer picture of just how much of the stuff you’re using.
ECOBOT won’t make suggestions on where or how to cut back on fuel, power, or paper consumption, but it does go a long way toward helping you gauge what effect your attempts to keep their usage under control are having. Sometimes “going green” feels like a moving target – it’s hard to monitor the effects of small changes. ECOBOT is a neat way to see how our choices make a difference.