After a weekend of going through papers to clear some room on my desk, I found this cool article in Plenty magazine: From the Junkyard to the Kitchen. It’s about an organization in Chicago called Working Bikes. They take bikes that people have thrown away and fix up the better ones to sell in their shop. The other parts they ship to places like Guatemala, Cuba, Ecuador, and the developing region known as the U.S. Gulf Coast.
Working Bikes and an organization called Bikes not Bombs provide bikes and parts to MayaPedal in Guatemala for one. They turn them into bike-powered water pumps, bike-powered grain grinders, bike-powered food blenders, and other cool machines that make life easier. Where electricity is hard to come by, leg power works wonders. One other plus: the bike water pump can pump from a depth of 100 feet, while a typical electric pump will only pump from 40 feet.