I am ever on the lookout for innovative solutions to the issues facing our environment and society and I absolutely love this report of a school in Canterbury who have put in an electricity generating light up floor in one of their corridors (they get even more bonus points as the company that makes the tiles is run by an ex pupil). The idea has also been used in the Westfield shopping centre in Stratford, among other places, and did I mention that I love it?
There is a 12m long stretch of energy generating tiles in the school, and it is estimated that over a year this will generate the same amount of energy as would be required to charge 850 mobile phones. Those cynics amongst us might say that that really isn’t very much, but the technology is still relatively new and with further developments as the technology gets used elsewhere, and is seen to be a success, I’m sure that this can become a more viable source of energy. The developers have already said that they are planning to expand the technology for use on a larger scale and would like to target music festivals.
What makes this for me, is that it is encompassing environmental living within everyday life – the children in the school will walk between classes anyway, the shoppers will walk through the shopping centre anyway – so why not get sustainable energy from those movements? To my mind, the most effective forms of environmentalism are those that can be easily incorporated within normal lives (think of the increase in availability of products made using free range eggs over the past decade – when it was a struggle and expensive to find ready made products with free range eggs most people didn’t bother, now they’re easy to find and not much more expensive, many more people are happy to make the switch). So, with energy prices in the UK constantly rising, is now is the perfect time to innovate and go sustainable?
Free images from FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Blog post by Linda Seward of Seward Technical Writing, providers of original science content.