This week at Treehugger: A mechanical engineer creates a DIY solar-powered pontoon boat; The AladdinPower hand generator allows you to power gadgets even when miles away from electrical outlets; A rugged and fairly inexpensive solar-powered projector to help teachers in poor rural communities in Africa and Asia; Two brothers make a solar-powered coffee roaster that reaches 600 F; And finally, cool bamboo headphones from Japan. Read on for details...
Monte Gisborne is a mechanical engineer who built The Loon, a solar-powered pontoon boat. Six-day boating cruise along Ontario's scenic Trent-Severn Waterway: "Cost of fuel for the 100-mile cruise? Zero. Amount of air and water pollution? Zero. Number of stares from other boaters? Countless."
The AladdinPower hand generator promises to make dead cell phone batteries a thing of the past by putting the power of charging in your hands, literally. There isn't a list of compliant manufacturers, though the website says it "universally connects to most cellphones regardless of brand, make, model, or manufacturer."
The "kinkajou", a solar-powered overhead projector will help teach reading to children and adults in poor, rural African and Asian communities that are without electricity. It has been tested successfully in 45 villages in Mali and organizers hope to introduce the projector in India and Bangladesh.
Two brothers Mike and David Hartkop have created a solar powered coffee roaster. The device is a parabolic mirror array that focuses on a roasting drum and heats it to 600 F. The drum's motors are also solar powered. It can crank out 7 pounds of coffee per hour when the sun is shining.
Made with bamboo, each pair of headphones is unique, functional and unusually beautiful. They're careful to note in a diagram picture that the earphones won't climb walls, listen to the voice in your heart, or help you crack a safe. Okay...
Treehugger s EcoModo column appears every Tuesday on Gizmodo.