Burning things to get energy is not something new, in fact this is what we’re trying to get rid of. I usually don’t promote “habits” like this on this green blog, but, nevertheless, there are a few cases where this can be considered alternative energy. Or, at least, you could say it’s an alternative to nothing. Still, if the heat comes from the Sun, the whole situation changes dramatically from black to green.
A guy named Thomas, presented a project involving a Jensen #75 steam engine to a LEGO motor, and got an universal USB charger. He exemplified its function by charging his iPod. Anyway, you may expand this system’s uses to much more than this, and it’s at the same time interesting because the idea can save you from a McGyver-like situation, when you only have a few options left to live in a cave with a LEGO toy and a soda can, eventually.
Here’s the video: