save energy

Novel ways of creating energy that could help your bank balances as well as the planet.


Smart ways of generating clean energy don’t have to be jaw-droppingly high-tech. Let’s start by remembering that a great source of energy, one that’s immediately on tap, comes from ourselves: specifically our legs. Get pumping!


  • Every day millions of keep-fit fanatics try to burn off body fat peddling on home exercises bike. Millions more bikes are gathering dust, unused and unloved, because their owners lost motivation after a few months. But what if that exercises didn’t just burn fat but also kept your fuel bills down? The pedal-a-watt generator stand works with most conventional bikes, using their rear wheels to turn a generator that creates electricity. The more you pedal, the more electricity you create. According to the makers, healthy adults can generate up to 300 watts as they pedal. If you don’t want to use the electricity there and then, you can store it in a battery.
  • If cycling isn’t your thing, but you’ve got space for a dance floor, you can always invite your friends to a power-generating party. The sustainable dance floor converts the movement of dancers into electricity which powers an array of lights beneath their feet. The floor is made up of tiles that compress up to 10 mm when they are stepped on, activating an internal generator. Each dancer can generate 5 to 30 watts of electricity enough for a light bulb.
  • The same technology is also being used to harness people power in busy train stations, shopping malls and sports stadiums. The power leap flooring system is designed to generate 10 watts of energy  for every step taken.


Of course, you don’t have to raise a sweat to generate your personal electricity supply. A host of gadget will convert sunlight into usable energy while you sit by and soak up the rays.


  • Solar mobile phone chargers have been around for years. But Samsung has gone one better by putting solar panels into the casing of its blue earth smart phones. An hour of sunshine generates enough power for 10 minutes of talk time.
  • Even if your smart phone or tablet computer doesn’t have built-in solar panels, there are plenty of protective cases that will provide a charge while keeping it safe. The ProFolio solar bag tops up the battery of any phone, laptop or tablet PC while you’re on move. The attaché bag, is big enough for a 17-inch laptop and connects to an array of gadgets using a standard car adaptor.
  • Its more glamorous big brother is the KudoCase. This looks like a normal; iPad case but continuously keeps the tablet computer topped up using it’s built in solar panel. The steady trickle of electricity means those who use their iPads for a couple of hours a day can go for nearly two weeks without needing to plug the device into mains- as long as they leave it under a light or in the sun. The case also has a USB power connector to charge up other gadgets and doubles as a stand.
  • While enjoying the sunshine, you can also cook by solar powers. The stainless steel Cookup Inox solar barbecue focuses the sun’s rays onto its cooking surface, heating up to 200 c. It’s sufficient enough to cook a chicken in an hour. The barbecue uses no charcoal or gas, making it convenient for the beach. But the oven does cool down whenever the sun goes behind a cloud.
  • After a day in sunshine recharging your spirits and phone, you can also use sun’s power to kill irritating bugs humanely. Solar Power Insect Killer attracts flies, mosquitoes and other biting insects with a solar power LED’s. The insects are then killed by a high voltage grid.


Green gadgets are not  just about generating electricity- the best of them can also directly reduce household bills.

  • A typical home wastes lots of power (and money) keeping gadgets such as TVs on standby. The BugPlug is the antidote to that red standby light. It sits on a shelf and is connected by a cable to TVs, DVD players or radios. When the built-in motion sensors detect that no one is in the room, it cuts the electricity supply to the gadgets. BugPlug also has a timer that can be programmed to turn devices on or off when you are out.
  • Moving on to bathroom, the Waterpebble is a clever device that helps save water when you take a shower. It sits in the shower and monitors how much water has gone down the plughole. It times your first shower and then uses it as a benchmark. From then on, it indicates by displaying “traffic light” LED’s when you should finish showering. On each successive shower, it fractionally reduces your showering time automatically- helping to save water. It can be reset anytime.
  • Helping is available even for gas guzzling motorists. Aimed at iPhone and iPad users, the Bosch Navigation app will suggest alternative routes that save on time and distance, as well as having an eco navigation function that helps plot the route offering the best fuel efficiency.


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