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What better way to celebrate Earth Day than with a flashback to some clean, green wind-powered goodness. Back in MAKE Volume 05, Abe and Josie Connally shared a detailed DIY on how to make their Chispito Wind Generator (Spanish for “little spark”). The Connallys are knee deep in creating an off-grid homestead in Mexico, and they love to share their knowledge and experience online at Vela Creations. Below is an illustration from the article that shows the basics in detail:

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The Connallys made the Chispito out of mostly reclaimed parts, including a treadmill motor. Since publication in MAKE, the project has been posted on Instructables (with over 200 comments) and is also available on Vela Creations, with lots of helpful build tips.

Below, watch John Park build the Chispito on Make: television:

The Chispito isn’t going to single-handedly get you off the grid, but it’s a great project to get you started. Happy Earth Day!