Cranking my radio up a notch (Day 301)…

crank radio

This year for Christmas, the theme was all things green: My paren— er, sorry, Santa was kind enough to give me lots of second-hand kitchenware, bamboo socks, eco-friendly jewellery and fair-trade coffee, all of which was wrapped in newspaper or a reusable tote bag.

He also got me a crank-up radio from Etón, which rocks. After a couple fast-paced wind-ups, the rechargeable battery lasted for a good half hour, but I actually had more fun taking the battery right out so that it only played music when I turned the handle — it was a bit like musical chairs, just without the chairs. A little cacophonous, yes (my mother said, “It’s like when you buy a kid a toy, without thinking about the noise it’ll make all Christmas day”). But it makes doing the Robot Dance extra fun.

As well, it doesn’t require any electricity and it comes with adapters that charge cell phones and cameras, too. So as of today, I’m only going to listen to radio that’s powered by my forearms.

Oh, and P.S. I’m currently on my way to NYC, and will be away until the New Year, so please forgive the shorter posts!

10 Responses to Cranking my radio up a notch (Day 301)…

  1. Roger says:

    So will you even need to go to a gym anymore with your new found exercise methods?

    Have fun in NYC!

  2. blah says:

    They also make crank up flashlights. I’ve got one in my glove compartment and it’s worth every penny.

  3. blah says:

    You know, I know this sounds a little far-fetched, but wouldn’t something like this be a great idea on a more grandiose scale? Think about cranking for 10-15 minutes and power your entire house! How much would that rock?

  4. rejin says:

    I’ve been wondering if someone would take this idea and run with it. How about hooking up all the exercise machines at all the gyms and turning them into human powered generators? Gyms would have to pay people to be members … Oh, maybe this is why no one has done it yet.

  5. just ducky says:

    I’ve got an Eton radio as well and I love it! I also have a few of the hand crank flashlights. I think it is a brilliant idea to replace batteries with good ole’ human power! I live in the States and we’ve had people who have been out of power (due to winter storms) for 10+ days! I’m sure they’ve run out of batteries by now! Owning hand crank radios/flashlights is not only great for the environment, but is helpful in an emergency situation where you run out of/don’t have any batteries! I plan on purchasing a crank lantern as well—just in case we lose power too. With kids and no power, you’ve got to have light for them to read or play by…otherwise they make your life very challenging….

  6. N. says:

    People do this! Check out this website for information on some of the Campus Center for Appropriate Technology on the Humboldt State campus in Arcata, California:

    There you’ll see lists of all of the things they power with pedal power and crank power. I’ve spent quite a bit of time there (although it was many years ago) and I’ve seen TVs, washing machines, blenders, radios, all the way up to large-scale concerts (it took about 20 cyclists in shifts to pedal the concert sound system for the entire show). There’s no principled reason not to extend pedal and crank power to many areas of our energy lives as long as electricians can convert the appliances for us.

    By the way, on that same campus (at least when I was there) the gym equipment was hooked up to batteries which were charged by the exercise of the students. The batteries were then in turn used to power the machines and supply the energy for the gym itself. When you think about all the energy we expend at the gym on machines that are plugged in and sucking energy from the grid it’s easy how to easy what an idiotic inefficient system it all is!

  7. Theresa says:

    We have a couple wind up flashlights and a wind up lantern -they are terrific! The lantern is from Freeplay and I use it to read by – I turn off the floor lamp and just crank this lantern up to read instead! The Freeplay people also make a step-powered generator, along the lines of the thing Blah was referring to. We haven’t gotten a crank powered radio yet, mostly because we can’t decide between the Eton or the Freeplay versions. We’re leaning toward the Eton though, because it has short wave capability.

  8. blah says:

    Wow! Why have I not heard about that before? What a great idea. Ya know, not only could this whole pedal power concept be good for the environment and the pocket book; but it would do wonders for your waist line too. If I knew I could get free power just for jogging or peddling for an hour or so, I’d do it every day. I think a lot of people would too. That’s probably the best way to get people on board with the whole eco thing is to make it easy, and make it benefit them financially.

  9. JoJo says:

    Nice site – Like what you did. Wishing you and yours a very happy and prosperous new year !

  10. Windmills…

    The first windmills that were used in Holland for water draining are mentioned in written documents in the year 1414. Windmills used for graining, have existed there 200 years before that…

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