In March we talked about Green My PC, a Facebook app that had some potential for saving energy by automatically setting your PC's power options for better consumption, and then making a social networking challenge out of it. We were a bit ho-hum about the app, but it turns out 300 people did use it during a 30-day Earth Day Countdown to a Healthier Planet challenge, and it got some results worth noting. It's all in how you phrase the numbers, but there's no denying that some energy savings is better than none.
According to support.com, the over 300 computer users who downloaded the app which optimally sets a computer’s power settings had the following positive impact on the environment:
Similar to planting 23,872.8 trees
Saved 5968.2 pounds of CO2 emissions
Avoided emissions of 198.94 gallons of oil
If the calculations work out as support.com has said, then that's a pretty great savings for simply a few hundred people adding an app to their facebook page. And considering Facebook's massive energy bill, users might as well be saving as much energy as possible to offset their Facebook use.
The settings the app puts PCs to for monitor and disk timeout, and standby mode that comply with Energy Star and Carbonfund.org recommendations. So they're not arbitrary, and the calculations are likely pretty close to realistic. But as we noted before, you can set your PC for even better savings by doing it yourself (hence the ho-hum feelings about the app). However, if you do your own settings, you don't get a handy dandy app on Facebook that puts you in competition with your friends.