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People Powered Gym

i literally just had this idea today as i was walking towards the bus to go home.  we create wasted opportunities for energy capture all the time, every single day.  i read recently how some japanese subway stations (i think japanese, at least – certainly not in the US) are capturing energy from all of the turnstiles that commuters push through.  the possibilities are endless: capture the energy from people running on a track, or any high traffic pedestrian area – or even insert energy capture devices in your shoes to charge batteries; opening and closing doors; anything w/ a repetitive or high intensity motion.

so then i thought about the gym.  and how we use energy to run machines that make us burn energy, and what a perverse logic that is.  obviously the machines need some energy to provide resistance in order to give us a workout, but what about capturing some of our expended energy?  i mean, the gym is a place where we go to burn energy and it’s all wasted.  that would be a brilliant idea – not only would it lower energy bills, but you know that it would lure people into memberships as well b/c they’d feel so good about their eco-conscious habit – that’s really the only way we’re going to get anybody to change, anyway.

so after i had this brilliant thought, i caught the bus home, did a little reading, and then perused gizmodo.  and lo and behold this is exactly what happened at a hong kong gym.  now this gym apparently only generates $183/month off of the energy capture, and it supposedly cost $15,000 to install the energy capture devices, which makes it a gimmick, just as i thought it would be – people feel good about it, so they join the gym.  the owner gets more memberships which i’m sure fairly quickly offset his investment.  but i think the bigger picture is that people start to think about energy use, waste, and capture more often and get creative about where and how they use or capture energy.  this of course leads to a greater realization about energy consumption and global warming, and hopefully some degree of behavior change.

User Powered Gym in Hong Kong

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Categories: creative, sustainability
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