• Apr 26, 2009
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Think your company did something worthwhile on Earth Day? If so, that's great, but it probably didn't require quite the level of commitment that was shown by Jones Soda employees at the beverage company's headquarters. There, staffers took turns spinning themselves silly on stationary bicycles hooked up via belts to used car alternators. These generators sent electrons to a slew of recycled car batteries that provided power to the office's 15 laptops, a server, a printer and the usual assortment of phones and fax machines. Apparently, more power was generated than was used by this equipment.

However impractical this may be, employees of seemed to get behind the idea, showing up at work early to help generate their own electricity. A more realistic scheme is currently in the works that would see Jones Soda reduce its fleet of delivery trucks and minimize excess packaging materials.

[Source: Seattle PI]

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  • 13 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Maybe they would have generated even more electricity if they had been drinking REAL soda with those oh-so-good HFCS ;)
        • 5 Years Ago
        God, I can't wait till Pepsi Throwback reaches Albuquerque. I'd just get Mexican coke, but the closest Mexican market that stocks it is about an hour's drive from my house. And they won't stock normal Jones cola or Blue Sky cola at most supermarkets we go to.

        I'll tell you how to fix America right now: Ditch the subsidies for corn growers, and GIVE US SOME REAL SUGARED SOFT DRINKS.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I celebrated Earth Day by shifting at 6K RPM.
        • 5 Years Ago
        thank you. yeah thank you!!! for real. i was starting to feel like a tree huger for a second. XD
        • 5 Years Ago
        this made my day
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is retarded tree hugger crap. So you're not using power off the grid, which is probably created by burning coal? Okay. But humans aren't infinite sources of energy. They need food and water. And when they're doing work like that they need lots of food and water. Without writing a book here I'll just say that it takes electricity from the grid in order to process food and pump water. Unless you're dipping your mouth in the dirty ol' river and breaking rabbits' necks by hand, you're using electricity to get food and water.

      Using human power is probably much less efficient than just powering those computers as usual. Normally the power comes from the plant and goes almost straight to the appliance. But using human power you've got to go to all sorts of steps to get the power to the plant that makes the food, and then the food to the people. The more you eat, the more you poop, and when you poop you flush, and when you flush the water goes to a water treatment plant which uses tons of electricity and awful chemicals and...you get the point.

      Some of these people are so retarded. Think things through, guys, there's a lot more to it than simply pedaling away. A five year old could make the connection here.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Thanks, Keef... you understand the situation. LaughingTooHard didn't like my explanation. However, the simplified reference to the "eat more/poop more/flush more" cycle *should* penetrate to the deep dark depths of the mind.

        Or not. I guess we're "pessimists."
      • 5 Years Ago
      What a coincidence! I celebrated Earth Day with a burnout!

      Small world...
      • 5 Years Ago
      Ah the power of assumption - the glorious mechanism behind anything overly optimistic.

      They very idea that 9 human powered bicycles can power a few pieces of office equipment shows they are using a fraction of what a normally-sized office uses. Add that to increased physical fitness of doing so and I am pretty sure they can offset their caloric impact by decreasing health insurance payouts. Of course, this is a future benefit, not directly related to the actual impact of increased food consumption.

      But let's poke a few holes in your argument:

      What if they buy local? Increased transportation impact for the increased amount of food they'll consume, not to mention the increased farm output required to keep up with the new food demands. Or they eat mostly low impact foods like chicken vs beef, oatmeal vs eggs and tofu vs well nearly anything (of course they'll still have to eat more). Unless I am mistaken Washington develops 3/4 of its' power from Hydro. Sure, lots of "clean" hydro power. Now environmental impact of hydro aside, that is pretty post-construction/ignoring-all-the-other-problems clean compared to coal that makes 45% of the nation's power. Then again, increased farm production will require the same power from the grid these kids thought they were removing.

      Food and lifestyles choices can cut recurring water consumption by 85%
      http://awesome.goodmagazine.com/transparency/web/trans0309walkthisway.jpg. However, using bicycles to power your office will require more water. It's that whole exercise/sweat/hydrate thing.

      Shifting the energy burden to human power restricts the sheer amount of power can be consumed and honestly, I don't know too many people who can muster enough pedal power to run their 3 Ton A/C for their McMansion. What this means is that people will have to figure out where necessity ends and luxury begins.

      You want A/C in an office? You need power for that.

      You want a super-fast LAN with the fanciest computers? You need power for that.

      You want _________? You need power for that.



      You conveniently ignore the entire point of my post. I'm a "pessimist" for pointing out that the energy to run an office has to come from SOMEWHERE? No, I'm a REALIST.

      Unless every single office that jumps on this bandwagon drastically reduces its power requirements to levels that can actually be achieved with pedal power, it's all a sham.

      You've also got to figure in the actual benefits of the "low impact" foods with regards to human physiology, especially regarding constant heavy exercise. Tofu just ain't the same as red meat.


      This whole thing is like the gasoline ICE vs. plug-in electric argument. The energy is coming from SOMEWHERE. Whether or not it comes from little explosions in your car, or crystal blue water cascading down a sunshiney valley and through a dam's turbines - the price is being paid somehow, somewhere.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Please. I had this idea when I applied to college, except instead of soda-company employees on the bikes, there were prison inmates, and the electricity fed directly into the grid.

      Paying back their debt to society in a tangible manner.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Is this blog still related to cars?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Nü hippies and their wacky ideas.

      Do any of these people realize that jumping on bicycles to power their computers, etc. simply shifts the energy burden?

      Instead of using electricity from the grid, they are burning calories, which will translate to increased food intake, which ripples allllllll the way up the chain to increased diesel consumption by farm implements and delivery trucks, increased fertilizer production, and greater water consumption in all links in the chain. Among other things.

      But yeah, it's nice to see hipsters actually sweat instead of tweeterizing or whatever they do.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Ah the power of assumption - the glorious mechanism behind anything pessimistic.

        They very idea that 9 human powered bicycles can power an office shows they are using a fraction of what an office normally uses. Add that to increased physical fitness of doing so and I am pretty sure they can offset their caloric impact by decreasing health insurance payouts.

        But let's poke a few holes in your argument:
        What if they buy local? Reduced transportation impact. Or are eat mostly low impact foods like chicken vs beef, oatmeal vs eggs and tofu vs well nearly anything. Unless I am mistaken Washington develops 3/4 of its' power from Hydro. Now environmental impact of hydro aside, that is pretty clean compared to coal that makes 45% of the nation's power.

        Food and lifestyles choices can cut recurring water consumption by 85%
        http://awesome.goodmagazine.com/transparency/web/trans0309walkthisway.jpg

        Shifting the energy burden to human power restricts the sheer amount of power can be consumed and honestly, I don't know too many people who can muster enough pedal power to run their 3 Ton A/C for their McMansion.
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