Kristin Palitza
Kristin Palitza

Power saving made fun and clever

Since we all have to think about saving electricity from now on – if not in the hope that it will avoid future load shedding than perhaps to keep our personal the electricity bill down – I thought it might be a good idea to find out what quirky inventions are out there that could make saving electricity not only the right thing to do but actually fun.

Here are seven awesome finds a made, mainly collected by the guys at Springwise, a smart website showcasing clever inventions worldwide:

  • Dance energy: An eco nightclub is about to open in London with a dance floor that collects enough energy to supply 60% of the club’s electricity need. The club, called Club4Climate, only uses low-voltage lighting, makes clubbers sign a pledge to help fight global warming and waives the entry fee if people can prove they arrived by public transport, foot or bicycle.
  • To save even more electricity while dancing, someone invented a dance charger that, strapped to your arm with an elastic neoprene strap, allows you to recharge your cellphone while shaking your booty. As you move your arm along with the music, the energy created gets stored in a reserve battery.
  • If you’re not into dancing, use your treadmill at home to power your TV, washing machine or recharge your digital camera.
  • Green playground fun: Some clever British student has invented a system that uses see-saws to generate power. Have your kids go wild on the playground while they, unbeknownst to them, create enough electricity to power your laptop for a few hours, and you can happily work away while they play.
  • And here’s an African idea… well, at least one launched in Africa. Cellphone company Motorola has started a project that provides local, entrepreneurial women with solar recharging stations that can charge 20 mobile phones at a time. Clever twist: attract customers with free electricity to your shop to sell airtime. The recharge station doubles as a kiosk that sells SIM cards, phone accessories, airtime and operates landlines to make calls.
  • Another eco-innovation to charge your cellphone or other electronic gadget without using electricity: a wind-powered recharging station that uses a small wind-turbine and solar panel to recharge batteries — you can have it in your back-garden.
  • If you live in a particularly windy spot: Use a wind-turbine to generate electricity for your entire house – and if you have a surplus, make some extra cash and sell it on to Eskom or create a mini-grid for your neighbourhood.
  • Okay, not all of the ideas above are necessarily fun, but they are all extremely clever. Just the kind of thinking we need to slash our electricity bills and save the planet at the same time.