Fun tips for a post-oil world
Learning to live in a world without cheap oil doesn’t need to be all doom and gloom. Here’s some 21st-century technology to help make the switch:
Dog carts. Even Fido will lose that fat midsection as he hauls groceries home from the market, or perhaps pulls his master or mistress on a two-wheel surrey or a four-wheel gig. At last, there’s a really good use for a big dog in the city. When he’s tired out from work, the neighbor’s cats will be safe as well. See www.dogworks.com or www.cartingwithyourdog.com for more information about dog carting.
Charge your cell phone and laptop at the gym, or while you’re riding to work. Pop the battery into the recharger, jump on the elliptical trainer or the StairMaster and let your energy be transformed into power for your small electronics. Bicycle generators put out enough energy to keep your iPod playing all day. See www.econvergence.net or www.green-trust.org/2000/humanpower.htm for information on buying or building a bicycle generator.
Don’t just spend energy hauling a laptop around in your backpack. Let the sun charge it up for you. See www.rewarestore.com/bags.html for information on Reware Juice Bags—backpacks with solar panels on them.
Pedicabs could become a thriving business for the next generation, but they’re a great way to get a good view of any city right now. Premier Pedicabs is one of the companies building fancy bicycle cars with ragtops right now (www.premierpedicabs.com).
And bicycles are good for all kinds of hauling. Bikes at Work Inc. of Ames, Iowa, uses its bike trailers to deliver everything from groceries to refrigerators—and the weather’s a lot worse back there. The company’s custom-made trailers also can be adapted to tow canoes, kayaks, sailboats—and more bikes. See www.bikesatwork.com.