Wash your clothes by pedaling your bike (with video)
Credit: Dave Askins, homelessdave.com.
You don't need electricity to do the laundry. It's as easy as riding a bike.
My wife's 90-year-old aunt still washes her laundry by hand, and dries it with a wringer.
God bless her. But if you're a little busier, you can keep your clothes clean with pedal power. GreenovationTV has a segment on the low-tech solution.
Dave Askins, aka Homeless Dave of Ann Arbor, Michigan, has created the system. He's hooked a bike to a washer built from old parts. He uses an Amish handwasher for the wash and rinse cycles. He uses his bike to spin his clothes dry. He says the whole task takes about 15 minutes.
This is a triple-win: Being clean, getting clean and getting exercise.
After all, washing machines can use up a lot of energy. If you have a front loader, that's a better choice. If you use cold water, also a better choice. And an Energy Star unit can cut your energy use by up to 50 percent.
On his Web site, Dave has tracked every bike-powered load of laundry since July 2007. He's nearing 200 loads.
The task isn't boring, either. Dave has hooked an electric generator to the machine so he can watch TV or DVDs while he's doing his laundry. He's watching "Jay Jay the Jet Plane" in the GreenovationTV segment. Perhaps we can get our kids to help with this one?
If you're up for a little project, GreenovationTV also has step-by-step instructions on how to make your own bicycle built for clothes. If you attempt this project and are successful, by all means let us know.