Sunday, February 06, 2011

Barbie's Net-Zero Energy Dream House

We aren't there yet, but Germany's got it going on. It starts with the toys...

The hottest "green" toy in Germany isn't made of organic or recycled materials. That's so 2010. This one has a solar panel and only runs if kids remember to insert bright red "energy stones" that power the rest of the space station.

Germany, a pioneer in many renewable energy initiatives, is also at the forefront of creating environment-friendly toys aimed at making kids think about where energy comes from and how much of it they can use, raising awareness through play.

A panoply of high-tech green toys are on display at this year's Nuremberg toy fair, which runs through Sunday. Among them, hydroelectric-powered toy cars, and doll houses with wind turbines and rainwater catchers.

The bright green "Future Planet" space station features an inner atrium with a fan that is powered by a functioning solar cell. Its aim is to get kids to use their imagination about how energy will be created in the future.

Catch them young. While I'm not old enough to (clearly) remember the Cuyahoga River catching on fire, I know my environmental awareness started with elementary school programs in the 70s about recycling and pollution. And of course there was this...

... which left an impression on everyone who saw it. Which was everyone.

Sesame Street has started down the green road, can the Electric Company be far behind? Has SpongeBob discovered hydroelectric power? Better get moving, we have a whole new generation that needs indoctrination education...