As we pointed out earlier in our Google Pedal Power Challenge post, look no further than your own legs for solutions to save the planet. Channel your inner hamster and get pedaling. Today’s egg McMuffin could power tomorrow’s revolution.
Not since the age of Fred Flintstone has human-powered commuting been so close to reality. The street legal (and surprisingly fun-looking) HumanCar is a human powered/electric hybrid that takes four people to operate. If you can think of three people who would want to strap themselves into this new technology — including two whose jobs will be “body steering” — and who don’t mind the 30 mph speed, the HumanCar could be in your future. For those who want to be among the first to have one, the company is currently taking pre-orders for the four-passenger LMV (low-mass vehicle).
If you think driving five miles to Jamba Juice for that post-workout wheatgrass fix isn’t the ultimate juice experience, how about making your own smoothie while you work out on a Fender Blender stationary bike? Oh that’s right. Five-year old San Francisco-based startup the Juice Peddler has been blending up a storm at fundraisers, restaurant and corporate events, you can now own your very own Fender Blender and multitask eco-style.
It turns out that most people have what they need to build a basic bike-powered generator that can power a TV or recharge a cell phone — 24 of these bikes were used at this year’s Coachella Music Festival to recharge phones for many of the 60,000 daily attendees. This site shows you how to use your regular bike, a car alternator, AC inverter and cigarette lighter charger to make your bike power the TV. (Don’t have a bike handy? You can also convert that stationary bike that hasn’t seen action since you gave up on your New Year’s resolution.)
As the popularity of shows like Bassmaster Pro on ESPN suggests, there are quite a lot of us who enjoy cruising around the lakes and rivers in our spare time. Yes, the huntin’ and fishin’ set can go green too, thanks to the PedalPro outboard motor from Fort Benton, Mont.-based Circle Mountain Industries. It’s pretty ingenious: a portable, collapsible seat-and-pedal system that snaps onto the back of any small boat and gets you where you need to go with no fuel required. It’s infinitely faster and less tiring than rowing, and of course leaves your hands free for fishin’ (or telling stories about those other fish you’ve caught).
We’ve all been there: You get back from a long trip late at night only to find that your car battery is dead and there’s no one in sight. Maybe you should store the Weza portable energy device in the trunk. The handy tool (which sells for about $270) can jump-start a car battery with about five minutes of pedal-powered activity on the step treadle. To fully charge the Weza (named after the Swahili word for “power”) you’ll be pedaling for an hour, but hey, you can also use it to recharge your iPod, phone and computer during the drive home.