How to Save the World One Dance at a Time
London's Bar Surya bills itself as the world's first eco-friendly nightclub.
LONDON, July 11, 2008 — -- Going green has never been more mainstream. Climate change was the hot topic at this year's G-8 summit, and now one London businessman is hoping that the new vogue for all things eco will translate into big bucks for his new venture.
Bar Surya, billed as the world's first eco-nightclub, is powered by a wind turbine and solar panels — fitting for a club named after the Hindu sun god.
The furniture is recycled: Rolled-up magazines pose as table legs; a ceramic bathtub becomes a sofa; and the front of the bar showcases smashed-up mobile phones.
But the biggest surprise is the dance floor, which is made of crystals. According to the club's owner, Andrew Charalambous, this dance floor holds the key to the club's air-conditioning system.
Charalambous, aka Dr. Earth (as his team calls him), explained the system to ABC News. "As people dance, the crystals are pressed together, it creates a current, the current then powers the electricity which powers up the light, and the air conditioning," he said.
It's all part of a concept called piezoelectricity, which enables some crystals and ceramics to generate electricity in response to physical pressure.
Does it actually work in this case? It's hard to say for sure, but Charalambous has garnered the support of some heavy-hitters from the political and celebrity circuit.
The launch party Thursday night was attended by the opposition Conservative Party's environment minister, Gregory Barker. Jade Jagger, daughter of Mick, turned up briefly to lend her support, as did British singer Mutya Buena.
But lest anyone think Bar Surya is all hype and no substance, Charalambous was at pains to point out the club's special features — from bar to bathroom.
From waterless urinals to low-flush toilets, the club has many features that the 35-year-old property developer hopes will catch on with other clubs.
"It's a very humble, very early first step. It's a beginning," he said.
More traditional environmentalists are less convinced about its value and ultimate sustainability.