Over my week at the United Nations Negotiations on Climate Change (or COP21), I kept seeing bikes all over the conference center and throughout Paris. As a major city, normally I wouldn’t be surprised to see so many bikes. However, these weren’t just normal bikes to get around. Instead, they were all stationary. Various organizations and the United Nations itself challenged attendees to use their own pedaling to generate power. Here are some of the most creative and interesting examples from COP21:
1 - Cell Phone Chargers
Directly within the entrance, these group styled stations allowed attendees to hook up their cell phone and pedal to a full battery.
2 - Lights
Unlike the other bikes, these were located on the Champs-Elysees (one of the major streets in Paris). Sponsored by IKEA, anyone walking down the street could hop on one of the bikes and help generate the electricity for some of the lights on the street.
3 - Music
At central area within the COP, bikes were used to generate electricity for a radio station normally run by solar power. People had to keep biking for music to be played across the venue.
4 - Juice
Probably the most ambitious (and difficult!) station at the COP was used to generate juice. Power from pedaling was used to work a juicer, which is much more difficult than it sounds. To make matters even more interesting, you had to race another person to see who could make it quicker!
More than anything, these exhibits allowed me and other conference goers to truly see how much energy is needed for basic tasks and to appreciate the power that is needed. Next time you turn on the radio or even have a glass of juice, think of how much energy went into making it.
6/12/2015 09:59:35 am
These were great to include. The juice station surprised me the most!
6/12/2015 10:24:48 am
This is a very interesting concept to see put into action in a major city like Paris. I would like to see this put into more cities and I believe it will be a success if these bikes are placed in cities that draw in tourists from around the world.
6/12/2015 06:29:52 pm
I think this idea is very interesting because it can help people by charging their phones and allow people to exercise.
6/12/2015 07:55:09 pm
This article was very interesting. I love the idea of self powered essentials of life. It provides a firsthand experience to the source and process of the formation of the familiar things in life that we often fail appreciate. I would like to know more about the connection between the bikes and the stations they fuel. Are these regular bikes that were altered or were they designed to accomplish these tasks? What is the availability and prices of these bikes?
6/12/2015 08:05:13 pm
I think that this concept is not only interesting but very beneficial! I understand that the point of it is to show how much work it takes to generate power, but I also see it as people being forced to exercise in order to get what they want, which is never a bad thing. It teaches a lesson, gets you what you want, and does good for you all around! It would be great to see something like this started up in America for exercise purposes, and to allow the people to appreciate the machines and power systems we have that do all of the work for us. By being the power source themselves, it would let people realize how lucky we are that all power isn't generated manually.
7/12/2015 05:54:11 am
7/12/2015 06:33:23 am
I really like this concept of working for your own energy, especially the last one where it was a race to see who could make it quicker. I don't think bike power is a big picture solution but it definitely starts the initiative.
7/12/2015 11:16:50 am
This concept is very intelligent. I think that it shows how we can make our own energy and not rely on fossil fuels. I would like to see more of these everywhere.
8/12/2015 06:26:47 am
These ideas are fantastic!! Great way to get the community involved in helping to bring awareness to the changes that need to take place and also generate a bit a electricity as well! Not to mention they are fun and ways to keep people actively involved. Cute innovations such as these have a great potential to be used in the future by many other nations around the globe. Keep up the good work and good luck at COP 21! Hoping for some big commitments so our next generation doesn't have to be stuck in the same pickle we are in. Good Luck!
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