Power IT Down helps the troops and environment

Thursday - 8/26/2010, 3:00pm EDT

Nigel Ballard, director of federal marketing, Intel

Click to hear the interview

Download mp3

Encore presentation: This story originally aired on Aug. 19, 2010.

Are you ready for Power IT Down Day?

Next Friday, Aug. 27, thousands of people will pledge to turn off their computers, printers and other electronic devices in order to help the planet -- and our troops.

Nigel Ballard is the director of federal marketing at Intel and says it's a very simplistic, everyman kind of way to help the Earth -- and troops who have been wounded fighting for our country.

"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.

Intel, HP, Citrix and GTSI have all pledged money toward the Wounded Warrior Project.

All you have to do is go to the Power IT Down site and register.

Also, when you go to the site, you can see the online calculator that shows just how much is being saved as more and more people sign up for the program.

But what about that computer in your office that has that huge note on it: 'Do not turn this computer off at night'? Ballard says -- no excuse!

"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."

On Twitter: @powerITdown

On Facebook: Power IT Down

Email the author of this post at dramienski@federalnewsradio.com