Yes we can! Eco bit 2: One small step and a giant leap

Walking doesn’t sound like a very significant step to protect our environment and stop global warming.  But it has more potential than you might think. 

First is the obvious advantage that walking tends to keep us out of our cars.  Along with its cardiovascular benefits, it reduces the carbon being pumped into the atmosphere, reducing air pollution and greenhouse gases.

Innovating geeks are also doing some amazing things to capture the energy we use when we walk:

An Energy Harvester has been invented by scientists at Simon Fraser University.  It’s a knee brace that captures the energy we use when we walk.  The first idea is to use it to power robotic artificial joints, but the braces might even be effective enough to recharge batteries.  This would make it possible for all of us to walk around charging our own mobile phones, ipods, and flash lights.  http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/7226968.stm

Then there is the very serious plan to generate power from the footsteps of people walking in front of a building and using it to power the lights inside the building. 
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/em/fr/-/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/5009358.stm

Finally, for the serious revolutionary potential of walking, consider “power dressing.”  By applying nanotechnology, US scientists are developing tiny energy- generating fibres that could be used to create self-powered smart fabrics.  On this one, the applications are almost limitless.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/em/fr/-/2/hi/technology/7241040.stm

Several million years ago, somebody climbed out of the trees and walking on two feet changed the world.  Mere walking could help start another dawn of civilization.

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About Terry Sissons

Terry Sissons is the author of The Big Bang to Now: All of Time in Six Chunks, and this blog is a dialogue about the universe and what’s happened in the last 13 billions years.
This entry was posted in saving our home - thoughts about global warming. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Yes we can! Eco bit 2: One small step and a giant leap

  1. Kelly says:

    I’m glad that you’re a supporter of the whole, “End Global Warming” thing. It’s horrible that people STILL litter, when they know that polar bears are suffering from the rise in tempurature, and what they’re doing is bad. But, we all do that once in a while right? We’re not perfect, but it’s pretty easy to do the right thing… and not destroy the inviroment. My school is doing a whole prodject to save the earth.

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