Your focus might be on the ball dropping tonight (and the kiss that follows), but don't forget to pay attention to the bright 2009 sign lighting up Times Square after midnight strikes. That not-so-subtle reminder of another year gone by is extra special this year, because the energy used to power the numerical sign is derived from people!
In a stroke of green (marketing) genius, Duracell invited New York natives and visitors to ride stationary bikes rigged to electric generators. The generators charged a set of four large batteries that will light the sign, which is made of 608 halogen bulbs requiring 7.25 kilowatt-hours of electricity.
I love that the annual event is becoming greener this year and that the bikes provided a fun way for people to get active. A manager for the staff at the Duracell power lodge said, "A group of elderly women came in several times to ride the bike. They brought water bottles and would go at it for 20 minutes or so a day." How cool is that?