In communities where people have to make do with what is around - contraptions such as the pedal powered washing machine are common.
In the developing world, women typically spend up to 8 hours a week washing laundry by hand.
Powered washing machines exist, but they are impractical due to the cost and lack of availabiliy of running water and electricity supply.
The Bicilavadora is a low cost, pedal-powered washing machine. It offers several environmental and social benefits over washing machines powered by electricity:
- it is made from locally sourced, inexpensive plastic barrels and bicycle components
- therefore, can be manufactured and repaired locally without relying on expensive imported parts
- it is easy to operate and uses no electricity
- it is cheap to run and maintain
Source: MIT Ideas Competition, Past Ideas Project 2004-2005 winners, http://web.mit.edu/ideas/www/pastprojects.htm, (accessed September, 2005)