At a United Kingdom shopping mall, pedestrians are powering the towering Christmas tree. Worldwide 7.7 billion kWh of coal (some of which is in your stocking this year) and natural gas are used to power Christmas tree lights.
Well, the Midsummer Place Shopping Centre has decided to stomp out this abuse of power this year by putting a pedestrian crosswalk next to their giant tree that uses the kinetic energy of holiday shoppers to provide the lighting.
According to the press release, “The slabs, made from low-carbon steel and recycled rubber, will power hundreds of LED Christmas lights for the Midsummer Place Christmas tree by capturing energy from this season’s holiday footfall.”
It is also rumored that when the mall closes and midnight both Santa and his elves are using the kinetic walkway like a treadmill to get in shape for delivering packages soon. With the amount of light put out by the tree as reported by the janitorial staff, the fat man may be rather svelte come game time.
But, all in all, this goes to show, not only how much energy is waste every year on holiday cheer, but also the people-power may be the answer to restoring the balance of power.