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The Human-Powered Home (PDF)
Choosing Muscles Over Motors
What if I could harness this energy? An unusual question for anyone putting in a long stint on a treadmill perhaps, and yet human power is a very old, practical and empowering alternative to fossil fuels. Replacing motors with muscles can be considered a political act-an act of self-sufficiency that gains you independence.
The Human-Powered Home is a one-of-a-kind compendium of human-powered devices gathered from a unique collection of experts. Enthusiasts point to the advantages of human power:
- Portable and available on-demand
- Close connection to the process or product offers more control
- Improved health and fitness
- The satisfaction of being able to make do with what is available
This book discusses the science and history of human power and examines the common elements of human-powered devices. It offers plans for making specific devices, grouped by area of use, and features dozens of individuals who share technical details and photos of their inventions.
For those who want to apply their own ingenuity, or for those who have never heard of human-powered machines, this book is a fine reference. For those who are beginning to understand the importance of a life of reduced dependency on fossil fuels, this book could be a catalyst for change.
Tamara Dean is a technical and environmental writer who lives in Wisconsin, where she and her partner David human-power their grain mill, blender, coffee grinder, and assorted electrical gadgets.
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