Taking a much more, um, direct
approach to educating consumers about the need to conserve energy, the EnergyTree concept PC presents a simple proposition to the user: use energy efficiently, and the tree contained within the case will be cared for. Get greedy with the juice (by joining the Engadget Folding@home team
, for example), and the tree will be straight-up poisoned and killed. The concept, by UK
designer Ben Arent, was recently picked as one of the 34 finalists in the 2007 Microsoft StartSomething design competition. The tree PC (treeputer?) contains a host of sensors and interfaces to monitor energy usage in an entire house, and can even turn ancillary devices on and off to keep your energy usage low (and that tree alive). While it's interesting to see an explicit attempt to turn energy consumption into an emotional experience, we think we're going to stick with those EnergyStar stickers -- they never threaten to kill anything.