*

Saving the Planet One Story at a Time
menu +

Blog


Bicycle Power
09Sep
2010

Mr. Something Something is a Canadian Jazz and Afrobeat band that’s bringing new meaning to the words “alternative energy”. The band is powered by…you! Ten bikes are hooked up to bicycle trainers by the back wheel.

As the audience begins to pedal, the back wheel starts to spin, generating an electrical current. The faster you pedal, the more energy is produced, the louder the music, the more energized you feel, and the harder you pedal; hence, the name SoundCycle.

About 200 watts is produced per bike, which is funneled into an inverter, and eventually stored in a battery. The stored energy is used to bring Mr. Something Something alive – it powers their amplifiers and their musical instruments. The battery is helpful in the event that energy is low (which rarely happens! Audiences love being a part of the action). You can listen to some of their music on MySpace.

In an article about Mr. Something Something in National Geographic, band member Johan Hultqvist describes the band’s ideal as “dance floor activism”. It’s not just the sustainable green energy that the SoundCycle provides; it’s also the background music for active audience involvement and inspiration. In the article, Hultqvist says:

“Believing that you can affect change is crucial. I see it all the time: the dance floor is empty until one or two generous, joyful souls get out there, changing the whole atmosphere in the club. Someone’s got to get the party started. The same is true for civic engagement, be it for social justice or sustainability. All great change starts with a good idea and a small group of people. So inviting people to participate has always been at the heart of our show and our music.”

Amazingly, Mr. Something Something isn’t the only group plugging into bike power. Chocosol is a social enterprise that produces and sells chocolate, and they make it all using the power of a bike! We discovered Chocosol at the Conscious Food Festival, where we stood and watched the team grinding chocolate right in front of us. Their business model impressed us, being economical, nutritious, environmental and ecological. Not only is their product made using a bike, but all of their deliveries are by bikes. They educate their volunteers about fair-trade practices, bean sourcing, and their environmental methods of production.

Watch this video of a member of the GreenHeroes team, Elaine, powering up with a bicycle.

GHteam, Elaine, powering up with a bicycle

Mr. Something Something is going on tour! Find out where they’ll be playing so you can be a part of the action. To contact and book Mr. Something Something, visit their site here.

Remember – in the battle to save the planet, exercising your pedal power is key. Enter our contest to nominate a bike riding hero, highlighting the challenges they face and how they overcome them. Let us know about your ride to work, how you envision a better biking future, or your efforts as a bicycle innovator, using bike-powered solutions to change the planet. Contest details, prizing, and more information can be found here.

GreenHeroes.tv is all about saving the planet, one story at a time. Do you have a great story to tell about how you’re helping to make the world a greener place? Enter the contest to nominate a friend or yourself – you could be one of Canada’s next GreenHeroes!

Watch and learn about our celebrity GreenHeroes

Read our blog to keep up-to-date on GreenHeroes Campaigns

Sign up for our newsletter

Follow us on Twitter

Become our fan on Facebook

We all watched in horror this summer after millions of barrels of oil gushed into the pristine waters of the Gulf of Mexico, destroying valuable ecosystems and peoples’ livelihoods. Though the spill has been sealed off, our fear is that history will repeat itself if we don’t recover from our serious addiction to oil. And, we’re not the only ones.

On Tuesday, July 13, 2010, Andrew Ference was part of a group of athletes, including our own GreenHero Leilani Munter, that headed down to the Gulf of Mexico with Sierra Club to view firsthand the damage wreaked from the spill.

It was amazing for us to see this collaboration; despite their athletic differences (those represented were from the NFL, NHL and Olympic medalists), these athletes were connected by a single cause, and a single drive for change.

>

The trip highlighted the connection between sports, health, and a clean environment. It also reminded us of the urgency of moving towards clean energy. Oil is dirty and dangerous, and the way we choose to move around, by train, plane, or automobile, sends a message to our decision makers about how we should be meeting our energy demands. Andrew reflected most succinctly after what he saw:

“I’m a father of two girls, and that’s a huge motivation. It comes down to the fact that my parents’ generation can maybe have an excuse as why some of these things have crept up, but now that I have kids, those excuses are gone. We have every technology available now to change how we get our power. We have to listen to what is going on in this world. What is missing is the willpower to do it.”

To view photos of the spill taken by Leilani Munter, check out this gallery.

To send a message to US President Barack Obama, visit the Sierra Club site.

In Canada, you can find out more about what is being done to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, and speak up with Greenpeace or with the Polaris Institute.

Leilani Munter is an ambassador of the National Wildlife Federation, where you can donate to help affected wildlife.

To learn more about how you can put your pedal to the metal, and reduce your dependence on gas guzzlers, check out our Pedal Power campaign page!

And don’t forget to leave a comment here or on Andrew’s profile page to show your support and let others know how you’re using your bike to change the planet!

GreenHeroes.tv is all about saving the planet, one story at a time. Do you have a great story to tell about how you’re helping to make the world a greener place? Enter the contest to nominate a friend or yourself – you could be one of Canada’s next GreenHeroes!

Watch and learn about our celebrity GreenHeroes

Read our blog to keep up-to-date on GreenHeroes Campaigns

Follow us on Twitter

Become our fan on Facebook

Eating locally isn’t the only way to change the way we think about food. We ventured out to the Conscious Food Festival on August 15, 2010 to learn about other ways of re-thinking our food and to meet some neat organizations from across Canada that are working to bring us good food for our bodies and our planet.

This is the first-ever Canadian collaborative event devoted specifically to the growing sustainable food movement. It was truly a feast for our mouths and minds, represented by dozens of breweries, wineries, restaurants and farmers – no complaints here!

The festival itself was consciously run, powered completely by bio-diesel, and served as a reminder that every thing we do, every thing we eat, and every change we make can help reduce our footprint on the planet.

We met some really interesting folks, like GreenHeroes Gabriella and Ivan from Chocosol, who rode an old, stationary bike in front of us to grind corn for tortillas, and stirred a huge pot of artisan chocolate to make us a delicious Mexican chocolate drink (that we’re still dreaming about weeks later).

Elaine Nicholson, Community Animator
GreenHeroes.tv

Don’t forget to leave a comment here on what you’re doing to eat locally and sustainably, and visit and comment on the Tasting Local Food campaign page!

GreenHeroes.tv is all about saving the planet, one story at a time. Do you have a great story to tell about how you’re helping to make the world a greener place? Enter the contest to nominate a friend or yourself – you could be Canada’s next GreenHero!

Watch and learn about our celebrity GreenHeroes

Read our blog to keep up-to-date on GreenHero Campaigns

Follow us on Twitter

Become our fan on Facebook

TOP