Copying a good idea

A pedal-powered printer is proving a hit with Ricoh staff and customers.

On World Environment Day each year Ricoh, a company which manufactures printers, copiers and fax machines, has its own Eco Action Day. On June 5 Ricoh will again be powering appliances through its custom built Power Cycle generator.

Ricoh NZ's MD Mike Pollok pedalling the Power CycleRicoh NZ's MD Mike Pollok pedalling the Power Cycle

In previous years Ricoh has invited special guests such as ex-All Blacks, politicians and TV presenters to take a turn on the Power Cycle, with their output being used to supply electricity which in turn powers a printer. Volunteers had a photo taken and printed out using only their legs for power.

The Power Cycle works through a small generator coupled to an exercycle. This charges a battery pack which runs through an inverter to create a 240V AC current. This can then be connected to any standard appliance, such as a printer or computer monitor. It was used recently by Ricoh at an Earth Hour display in Hamilton to show environmental videos.

Ricoh Japan requires that every subsidiary takes part in an activity related to energy conservation for World Environment Day.

Ricoh's Environment Manager Margie Barriball says the aim of this particular idea was not only to turn off all lights for an hour, as has been done in the past, but to take it a step further and generate electricity. "Participants learned that it takes a considerable amount of effort to generate even a small amount of power, and gained a real appreciation of just how much power we consume and why we should make an effort to conserve it as much as possible."

The Ricoh Power Cycle will be on display and generating power at the Wellington branch (corner Vivian and Taranaki Sts) on June 5 for World Environment Day.

The Power Cycle was built by Adsel Solutions Group Ltd and Polar Instruments.

EcoInnovation ( are building another two.

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World Environment Day: If you are in Wellington or Dunedin today head down to Ricoh and pedal their pedal-powered photocopier. If you can generate 200 Watts for 3 minutes the machine goes.

And if you can manage 600 Watts quit your job and sign onto a pro cycling team.

Ricoh are at cnr Taranaki and Vivian Sts in Wellington. They have freebies on offer.

I know this isn't quite the point but ...

"why is the guy wearing lycra cycling gear on a stationary bicycle indoors?" Drag...visibility...wind chill...?

his boss told him to?

they probably don't do chic clothes with the company logo plastered all over them ;-)

Stephen Wood , based in Central Otago