'World first' eco-club launches
The dancefloor generates energy to power the lighting, the walls are covered in ecological paint and sheets of newspaper, and the sound system is powered by wind turbines.Surya, billed as the world's first ecological nightclub, is certainly no ordinary nightspot, as it proved at the official launch on Thursday.
The club, in London's Kings Cross, is the brainchild of entrepreneur Andrew Charalambous, who goes by the moniker Dr Earth and runs the club as part of his company Club 4 Climate.
He said his intention is to use music and dance to spread the green message around the planet.
"We must use platforms like Surya, like Club 4 Climate, to reach our young generation," he said. "There's no more universal language than music itself."
Mr Charalambous said the club is the first business to donate surplus electricity - generated by wind turbines - to the neighbouring residents.
Many of the club's furnishings are made of recycled items, drinks refrigerators and plasma TVs are solar powered, the urinals are waterless and even the wine is organic and fair-trade.
Green messages litter the walls and the club's centrepiece - its energy-generating dancefloor.
Clubbers movements compress crystals under the wooden floor which generate an electrical current through a process known as piezoelectricity.
However, Mr Charalambous has not ruled out flying in DJs from around the world, arguing that he is not against flying.
Asked if outdoor raving would have been a greener way to reach clubbers, Mr Charalambous admitted it would not be very good for his business, and may not be as popular in the English weather, but said he was very much in favour of more outdoor clubbing.
"We should press the local authorities and the governments around the world to allow more of this outdoors," he said.
Shadow environment minister Greg Barker was among the famous faces who attended the launch and he praised the club's efforts.
"We can live in balance with the earth and go out and have a good time at the same time," he said.
Jewellery designer and music lover Jade Jagger and DJ duo Coldcut were also among those endorsing the club.