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On yer bike: green call to movie patrons

Pedal power will become a concrete concept at Canberra’s Food Co-op shop when the business encourages customers to help utilise human-driven generators.

The co-op, in Kingsley Street, Civic, is well known for its regular film screenings, and management hopes the evenings will soon become more environmentally friendly with the introduction of pedal-powered generators to run their projector and sound system.

Patrons will have the opportunity to power the generators by hooking up their bicycles to them, and taking turns at pedalling throughout each film screening.

Organisers say the venture could potentially save 20 kilowatt hours of energy each year.

A fundraising event for the generators was held at the co-op on Wednesday afternoon, with live music from local bands.

The venture is the result of a collaboration with People Power Canberra, a newly formed coalition of local organisations with an interest in preventing man-made climate change or reducing its impacts.

People Power Canberra spokesman Adam Huttner-Koros said residents of the capital were generally quite environmentally aware, and his organisation was working on similar projects to help reduce the energy consumption of other local small businesses.

”Canberrans are willing to spend money on combating climate change,” he said.

Food Co-op shop manager Joe Brock said the pedal-powered generators would save energy and educate people about the amount of energy they used in their day-to-day lives.

Mr Brock said since the Co-op shop was located within a large office building, staff and management were limited as to how many energy efficient changes they could make.

”We couldn’t go for solar panels on the roof, and even the heating is centrally operated,” he said.

But the pedal-powered generators would be used to screen films on themes of environmental protection and social justice.

The Co-op shop also took the opportunity to launch its new fair trade coffee range, another collaboration, this time with local baristas the Lonsdale Street Roasters.

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