Do Dryer Balls Really Save Energy?

It’s a question we’ve all asked time and again, along with “what time is it?” and “why are we here?”.  Or, at least, it’s a question I’ve asked once or twice.  Do dryer balls work?  A small spiky ball that, when added to your clothes dryer, is claimed to reduce drying time by up to 25%.  They also can be purchased in the form of wool balls, although to be fair, I have to admit I haven’t tried these. In any case, as you might expect, the results indicate that the answer is a resounding NO. I’ve done my own experiments which were not terribly precise or scientific and found no discernible improvement.  When I searched the web, I found several stories that all seemed to agree that these balls had no appreciable effect on dryer time.  The best study I found was done by a high school kid, who followed a fairly solid scientific process. here is the link to his study: blogs.sas.com/content/iml/2013/08/12/do-dryer-balls-reduce-drying-time/ There is anecdotal evidence that these balls can effectively soften clothes and perhaps do away with the need for dryer sheets and fabric softeners.  But as an energy saver…...

Use the Eco Button for an easy way to put your computer to sleep

A simple yet, satisfyingly useful product is called the ECO Button.  It doesn’t do much really.  You press it and it puts your computer to sleep.  You can do that yourself, by choosing sleep from the lower left of your Windows screen.  Where this product improves on that is two-fold.  One, it is a large green button that sits on your desk and so putting your computer to sleep can be done with barely a thought, as you propel yourself from your computer, for the phone, bathroom, or the call of non-digital life.  The second thing is that the large green button glows with a slowly pulsing light that can be slightly annoying but more to the point, makes it hard to forget. One nice little trick is that, once the computer is off (asleep, hibernating, or fully off), you can press the button one more time and the light will go off until the computer starts up again (which, by the way, is NOT by pressing the ECO button again, but rather by the traditional method of hitting any key or moving the mouse. The original is from England, but there are copycats available, too.  Both can be found on Amazon or on Ebay.   Here is the website of the original producer (they deserve the credit!)...