Easy Green: Cut Electricity Use With 15 Unplugged Home Devices
Crank up the energy savings, courtesy of household items that come into power the old-fashioned way: manually
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Whether you want to slash your energy bill, go greener or just be more prepared next time the power goes out, these hand-cranked and other human-powered household items will help you get the job done in style. From the sleek and innovative to time-tested classics, each of these 15 finds offers a refreshing antidote to 24/7 plugged-in lives.
This hand-cranked blender from Lehman's will give you a workout while you whip up that breakfast smoothie. The Lehman's catalog is a fantastic resource for nonelectric alternatives to common household items — the business was founded to serve Amish communities but now enjoys widespread appeal.
This coffee table doubles as a paper shredder and as a conversation piece. Insert the paper on top, crank the handle and watch as ribbons of paper fill up the acrylic base.
This sleek little hand-cranked paper shredder could be all you need for handling small amounts of paper — and it looks so cute that you won't have to hide it.
In a power outage, cordless phones won't work, even if the phone line is still operational. This revamped vintage rotary phone will keep working when newer models fail — and looks adorable to boot.
Being able to use your cell phone in an emergency is key. Now you can always have backup power with this sleek little hand-cranked power generator from Etón in your pocket.
Coffee connoisseurs insist that the best brews start with beans ground in a Burr grinder. This one is operated by a simple hand crank, and it has a charmingly old-fashioned look.
The simple, elegant design of this Chemex coffeemaker makes it a designer favorite — and the easy pour-over method makes amazingly delicious coffee.
Plan a greener garden in more ways than one this year by trading in your gas-powered mower for a traditional reel version. Perfect for smaller yards, this classic push mower will give you your workout while trimming the grass.
I like that this petite radio offers your choice of power method: solar or hand crank. Plus, it's so good looking that you're sure to find yourself using it all the time — not just when the power is out.
Some juicing purists believe that the heat from a typical electric juicer takes something away from the freshness of raw juice — this hand-cranked version will keep your juice as fresh as possible.
Trade in your bulky electric orange juicer for this utterly basic glass version and save some room in your cupboards.
Just like the ones that used to grace teachers' desks all across the country, this classic black pencil sharpener does the job with a satisfying turn of the handle.
You won't need to remember to keep extra batteries on hand with this cute little hand-powered flashlight from Ikea. Stash a few around the house and leave an extra in the car for roadside emergencies.
Give your clothes dryer (a notorious energy hog) a break with this old-fashioned hand-cranked wringer from Lehman's. Squeezing the excess water from your clothes after washing will shorten drying time.
Ideabook published on Feb. 6, 2013.
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