Where Will It All End?
This is the EarthQuaker's washing machine. I'm going to replace the horrible plastic seat with an old leather Brooks Saddle that the former resident of this house gave me when he moved out. I think that it would pedal more efficiently with a longer set of cranks, but since I only have to pedal it for twenty minutes a week to take care of making my clothes as clean as they really need to be, I can probably just live with it.
The contraption is an unholy union of a discarded exercise bike and a 1930's era Maytag washer, complete with 'mangle' for wringing clothes. It was a student sustainability project which I oversaw at the Woolman Semester (www.woolman.org). When the students researched the ecological footprint of doing laundry, they actually found that it takes more energy to heat the water for warm or hot laundry loads than it takes to run the washing mashine for agitation and spinning. So, cold water and pedal powered agitation and wringing make up a pretty earth-Friendly way to get the clothes clean.
But what about refrigeration? Running this computee? Reading lights and the electric toothbrush? Can the EarthQuaker live an ecologically responsible life without running nekkid in the woods, eating grubs and berries? Where will it all end?