It is the New Year, but we still have the same old economic crisis, the same old global warming, and maybe the same old tendency toward poor fitness habits. If only there was a way to tackle all three problems at once… But wait, there is! Check out The Human-Powered Home, and learn how to reduce your hydro bills, reduce your carbon footprint, and reduce your waistline all in one go. Through designs for pedal and pump power we can power any number of household appliances, from blenders to washing machines (remember the one on Gilligan’s Island?), even pedal-powered snowplows (wait till you see that one) and bike-framed cultivators for your garden. When considering implementing these plans in your own home, it may be helpful to have a friend or family member who is an engineer at heart, as the schematics are not as detailed as the instructions, but the author – who lives in her own human-powered home – also provides information on commercially available parts and contraptions. There are photos from all over the world illustrating the various uses for pedal and pump power, including some innovative entrepreneurs who use them in their various businesses. These machines are designed for energy efficiency, not time efficiency, of course, and your grandparents may recognize some of them from days gone by (the hand-cranked ice-cream maker is just one example), but sometimes the old things really are best for the economy, earth and your own health. This book is recommended by Mother Earth News.

In the Stratford Gazette on January 2, 2009


Newer Post Older Post Home