This week at TreeHugger: Target has begun experimenting with selling "refurbished" electronics on its web site, making us wonder what that'll shorten the life of the iPods, gaming systems and TVs sold on the site to...any guesses? Do we hear six months? We have not one but two solar DIY projects for the adventurous gadgeteer out there: a solar heater made from pennies, and a Canadian engineered solar-powered ham-radio setup.
Take a walk in your house with this crazy thing designed so you can live nomadically with little environmental impact; it's even got solar cells and small windmills to help power it. Take a one cylinder four-stroke gasoline engine with a Bosch magneto ignition system and battery, strap it to your bike, and you've got this: a throwback built first in 1914 and still ahead of its time today.
Target has begun selling "pre-owned" iPods, video game consoles and televisions on its website. This could mean a couple things: we are moving into an era where resale of top of the line electronic goods will come to be viewed as "normal," or, the concept of designed obsolescence has taken us to new lows. Time will tell if the retailer will hit the bullseye with the second-hand gear.
Let's bask in the sun's warm glowing warming glow for a couple DIY projects. For a cheap-n-easy solar heater, just take that jar of pennies you have kicking around, a sheet of foamcore and some plexi, and in no time you have a heater that the guy on the video says will warm up your room by ten degrees. Tell the world about your success with this solar-powered ham radio, which has some boring-but-important implications beyond just talking with your new radio pals in California.
Danish artists and activists at N55 developed the walking house so that you can live like a nomad with little environmental impact: energy is collected via solar cells and small windmills and a small greenhouse module can be added. And not only can it collect rainwater, it's amphibious.
Take a one cylinder four-stroke gasoline engine with a Bosch magneto ignition system and battery, strap it to a bike, and you've got this: a 1914 Aerothrust bicycle, described as a "halfbaked idea of toodling along with a whirring vegetable slicer at your back must've been somewhat daunting." We think it's still ahead of its time.
TreeHugger's EcoModo column appears every Tuesday on Gizmodo.