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Marina Ventura’s Energy Challenge – WINNERS!

Find out what our judges thought of your ideas!

Hi guys! Marina Ventura here. 

I love our planet and like many of you, I’m passionate about finding ways we can protect it by not wasting energy. 

It’s a big challenge – and I asked for your ideas about how we could save energy around our homes and neighbourhoods and how we could create new efficient sources of energy. You sent in some amazing ideas… 


First up is Olivia who’s certainly not been SLEEPING on the job! 

She suggested “Snore powered electricity. When your nose vibrates it would send a current through some wires that are connected to you and would then power different things.”

Wakey wakey! Great idea Olivia.

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Next, Beaux had a very colourful suggestion. Here’s what he said:

“You could put little pin wheels on the roof of your house and not only will it look really pretty, you can have it any colour you want. It will generate electricity and it will save us using a lot of fuel and heat so all of the animals can be safer”.

How cool would that look?

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Another colourful idea came from Sophie who suggested:

“Colour changing paint on the outside of the house so it is black on cold days when the sun shines on it to warm the house up and white on hot days to reflect the sun’s rays back and keep the house cool.”

Great idea Sophie!

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Max had an idea that would really keep us all on our toes!

“Vibrations can be made by all kinds of things. Walking, talking, and music are some of many ways vibrations can be created, so I am thinking of making a machine that captures vibrations and turns them into energy. I have ADHD so I have got lots of energy and lots of energy means lots of vibrations. You don’t need to be energetic though, all you need is to speak or move!”

Sounds like a good way to stay fit too!

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Let’s keep moving with our next idea which came from Rhys.

“When it’s raining my mum says it’s very difficult to dry the washing without using the dryer. I would like to invent an indoor cycling machine with a clothes rack attached that spins around and dries the clothes as you cycle. It would let my brother and me burn off some energy whilst saving energy around the home”.

So that’s a way to get some healthy exercise, dry clothes AND save energy too – a triple winner!

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Now some of you really did think outside the box with some wonderful, wild and wacky ideas but Jack came up with a suggestion that’s all those things – and WHIFFY too!

“My nana has 3 dogs that are always pumping. We could collect all of the methane gas and turn it into energy.”

I mean, I’ve heard of Top Trumps but that idea is something else!

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Some of your entries really did show that you’ve thought about the way we use appliances and the judges were very impressed with ideas that whilst simple could make a massive difference. Like Karen…

“Instead of plugging in devices all the time, that can make your device get hot, you could create a charger that when it is charged it will automatically turn off so you will not waste electricity and also stop the risk of fires. Instead of using lights you could create glow in the dark clothes so then at night they light up. My problem I am trying to fix is saving electricity. How can everyone benefit from this? Well I’m glad you asked. You could make it a reasonable price so that it’s not too expensive. Make sure the clothes are one size fits all and they can be adjustable so when you grow, your clothes grow with you. This would save people money.”

Lots of really great ideas there Karen – well done!

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Hayley had an idea that uses something lots of you like playing with – I wonder if you can guess what it is…

“My idea is to use glow in the dark LEGO bricks to save energy by lighting up the room of your choice using your awesome Lego creations. So that you can reduce your electricity use and show off your LEGO creatively.”

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Jessica wrote in with her suggestion…

“Wind power not just solar power on top of roofs to create energy by a small turbine. Hopefully our house won’t start to fly away though!”

Yeah! That wouldn’t be great! But great ideas! 

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We LOVED Lottie’s idea. She had thought carefully about the way we use electricity and came up with some ELECTRIFYING suggestions.

“I have a few crazy ways we could save electricity. I think our electronics should charge up determining how long we spend outside. Or since the heating and cooling are known to use up the most energy, I think they should rely on our body temperature. For example, the more exercise we do, the warmer the heater gets, the more resting we do, the colder the cooler gets. Maybe even, the more compliments we give people, the longer our shower lasts. If I had given out 3 compliments today then my shower will last 3 minutes.”

I LOVE the idea of getting a reward for being nice!

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Some of your great ideas came from things that you’d seen in real life. For example, Luke’s entry:

“While on holiday in Somerset we visited Dunster Castle which had a watermill. The water turned a wheel that then ground wheat into flour. We then stayed in a caravan in Devon and while we were there we went to Lynton and Lynmouth and rode on the water powered cliff railway. This made me wonder why we can’t use water power in the home. My dad told me about hydroelectric power. Why can’t we have a small turbine in our drains and drainpipes that creates electricity? You could flush your wee to make a cup of tea.”

Flush your wee for a tea! Great stuff Luke. 

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Over to Holly who had a bunch of great ideas from bins to bands around your wrists.

“Instead of having rubbish bins, for all the waste that can’t be recycled, we should have power converter bins. The rubbish goes in and it gets converted into clean energy for powering all the electric appliances in the house like the washing machine, TV and oven. There could even be mini rubbish power converters attached to cars to power them on things that would normally be thrown away. Another way to make power would be for every person to wear an energy making wrist band on each hand and ankle bands on each leg. The bands will convert every movement into energy. If everyone in the world joined in there would be loads of human generated clean power. During events like the Olympics the athletes would make loads and loads of power from all their races!”

Definitely some winning ideas there! 

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Emily who had a number of different idea that impressed the judges too…

“I think we can use exercise machines such as treadmills and bikes to collect power using tanks that feed straight to household appliances. I also think we can use lots of patterns of glow in the dark materials to light houses as well as natural light instead of powered lightbulbs. Something else that could work would be promoting solar panels rather than fossil fuels. One last thing I thought was that we could use dog wheels to generate electricity or energy.”

Sometimes simple ideas can change the world.

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Noah’s suggestion is something we can all try to do.

“My friends should walk to school instead of going in cars when they only live less than 20 minutes walk away it is much healthier for them and our planet.”

Absolutely Noah. Walking for shorter journeys is an easy win for the planet.

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The winner is…


He has won a whopping £200 Amazon voucher.

We loved hearing about how we could capture energy in interesting new ways and it’s something Samuel had been thinking about.

“To help schools with costs and becoming more ‘green’, they could be fitted with kinetic energy floors in halls and gyms. When pupils have PE lessons, their movement on the tiles would then be converted into electricity, which could be used to light up the classrooms. Also, body heat from pupils in crowded corridors could be used to warm up water in underground tanks and pump back through the heating system in school. I was then thinking about the commute to school during the short days of winter. To make it safer for children walking home when it’s dark, glow in the dark paint or cement from bioluminescent bacteria could be used to illuminate the paths.”

Thank you guys for all your entries – we loved reading all of them and hearing your creative ideas for making a greener world. Give yourself a round of applause!

Marina Ventura’s Energy Challenge – With support from National Grid’s Grid For Good.

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Marina Ventura

Exploring our environment and the world around us!

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