Oh Bike-Powered Christmas Tree, How Are Thy Leaves So Solar!
This year, Barcelona city council decided to set an example and opt for low energy Christmas lights around town. The most intriguing ones are the 6 metal Christmas trees that are either solar or bike-powered. The Barcelonans however believe they are being tricked…All around town, shops as well as the city council are trying to cut down on the energy consumption of this year’s Christmas decoration. In Barcelona, public Christmas lights shine during 44 days, and illuminate 58 km of streets. Nevertheless, they managed to cut the energy cost by 14,2% compared to 2007, which leaves them with a bill of 32.600€, by opting for low energy lighting solutions and limiting the lights to shine between 6pm and 9.30pm only.
Part of this year’s decoration is the green Christmas trees. According to designer Martirià Figueres, the trees represent different ways to get the need for efficiency and reduced energy consumption across to people.
All 6 reusable trees are 11 meters high, consume between 200 and 300 watts and cost 214.000 €, something not every citizen appreciates. The solar trees have leaves whose solar cells capture the energy during the day and shed colourful light at night using LEDs.
Other trees seem to be powered by static Bicing-bikes, those that normally belong to Barcelona’s public bike-sharing system. People are invited to interact with the Christmas decoration by pedalling next to the trees to make them light up brighter. What makes people sceptical is that the trees are also lit when nobody cycles… Still, cycling warms you up when you're cold outside and lets you exercise, so if you eat too much these days, go and light up a green Christmas tree. Via ::Kewego (see video in Spanish) and ::WIRED ::Barcelona City Council
More bike-powered Christmas trees on TreeHugger:
Tate Britain’s human powered Christmas tree