Hanukkah doesn’t seem to pose the same kinds of environmental problems that Christmas does, what with the latter’s cut and artificial trees and excess waste in the form of wrapping paper, ribbons, and bows.
But that doesn’t mean that Hanukkah can’t be greener.
Though most menorahs lit at home feature candles, public menorahs often blaze with the glow of electric light.
Two Yeshiva University physics students wanted to “green” these public menorahs, so they invented a wind-powered menorah, which they tested out this evening to mark the first night of Hanukkah.
From the New York Times City Blog:
“Their menorah is four feet wide and four feet tall, made of plastic and spray-painted gold. The lights are nine compact fluorescent bulbs. A cable connects them to a car battery. Another cable connects the battery to a wind turbine with a two-foot propeller…. The propeller turns a generator that generates current to charge the batteries. They provide a constant current and voltage to the compact fluorescent bulbs, which give more light on less power than incandescent bulbs.”
As Mark Stauber, one of the student inventors, remarked:
“In the miracle of the menorah, they got back to the temple and there was only enough oil for one night, but they made it last eight days…. I see an analogy with the world’s fight for sustainable energy, to take that and make it last as long as we’re going to need it.”