Lectro aims to produce the world’s best priced e-bike

Starting at less than $900, Lectro’s 750W fat tire e-bike promises a 20+ mile pedal-free range and a top speed of 20 mph.

The e-bike industry is really starting to take off these days, as more people begin to see the benefits of getting an electric boost to their pedaling, which extends their potential cycling range and reduces the amount of physical effort needed to get where they’re going. The e-bike market has a wide array of options to choose from, ranging from a single electric wheel that converts any bike to an electric one, to DIY e-bike conversions, to top-of-the-line high dollar electric bikes that can cost as much as a used car.


Considering that most potential e-bike riders probably don’t want to build their own bikes, and if they are going to spend the money to go electric, they most likely don’t want to just add an electric drive unit onto their favorite conventional bike. What seems to be called for in the electric mobility revolution is an affordable multipurpose e-bike that offers a decent range, adequate power, and a comfortable ride, and that appears to be what Lectro Bikes is going after with the launch of its e-bike.



“There’s a perfect storm to make useful electric bikes for the masses. Battery pricing and motor availability is finally to the point where we can make a bike worth riding everyday at a price everyone can afford. At Lectro, we’ve placed heavy focus on our supply chain and manufacturing relationships.” – Lectro founder Jeffrey Morin


Lectro is currently offering its e-bike as a pre-order item to backers of its Kickstarter campaign at the $899 level, and looking at the specs on the bike, it certainly seems as if it may live up to its claim of delivering the most power at the lowest cost. While many entry level e-bikes come with 250W or 500W electric drive systems, the Lectro is being produced with a 750W motor, paired with a 48v 11.6 Ah lithium-ion battery (5-6 hour charge time), and is said to be capable of hitting a top speed of 20 mph, with a range of 20+ miles.


This e-bike is a fat tire bicycle, sporting 4″ tires, which act as a bit of extra cushion between you and the bumps and potholes that are often part of the cycling experience, and which can often roll right over potential obstacles without having to think twice, and the bike has both front and rear disc brakes for maximum stopping power. The Lectro includes a Shimano 6-speed derailleur, giving riders another layer of control over their ride (especially if it’s being pedaled without the electric assist), and the bike’s drive system offers both pedal-assist and throttle mode (no pedaling necessary), with varying levels of pedal-assist available to suit the conditions.


The Lectro, which is built on an aluminum frame, will include the LCD handlebar display (showing battery stats, ride distance and speed, assist level, etc.), along with a headlight, mud flaps, kickstand, and a USB charging port on the battery (for topping off mobile device batteries).


One potential objection to this e-bike is a fairly common one in the electric bicycle world, which is the tendency to balk at the thought of riding a 60 lb bike, regardless of whether or not the weight is balanced out by the power and range of the bike. This is a totally understandable concern, especially for those who have to haul their bike upstairs and down for storage or charging, and in that case, it may be a matter of weighing the benefits of not having to pedal for 20 or more miles per day versus the effort of physically carrying the bike on either end of their ride.


Via: treehugger

6 reasons to take your kids camping this summer

Last weekend I went on a camping trip with my family to Gatineau Park in Québec. The first night went well, but then the rain came. Unfortunately the tent I bought at a garage sale for five bucks failed to keep us dry (not surprising), and we all woke up miserable in a pool of water. It wasn’t the first time. My ever-practical husband, fed up with us always hoping it won’t rain, decided to fix this problem once and for all. We bought a new waterproof tent, and now I’m counting the days till we go camping again – and stay dry in the process!


Camping is a ton of work with little kids, but I keep doing it because I think it’s important. It would be far easier just to stay home, where everything is convenient and comfortable, but then my kids would miss out on the many great lessons to be learned from camping. Here are a few of the reasons why we keep going back.


1. Camping teaches kids to love nature

The more time spent outdoors, the more comfortable kids become with nature. I don’t want my kids to fear the forest, but rather develop a healthy respect and love for it. There are also many spectacular sights that can only be seen by venturing off the beaten track, and camping allows us to do that as a family.


2. Camping teaches kids to appreciate the small things

It’s easy to take things for granted at home, but after a long day spent outdoors, there’s nothing quite so wonderful as a campfire, a hot dinner made in a single pot, a marshmallow on a stick, and a dry sleeping bed. Teach your kids to realize how great it is to have hot showers and flush toilets at home.


3. Camping gives a new skill to kids

Camping efficiently and comfortably does take skill, and the more you do it, the easier it gets. By teaching your kids how to camp, you’ll equip them with a skill that could come in handy later in life. It also teaches frugality and how to make do with less.


4. See the world on a tight budget

Camping is far cheaper than staying in hotels, and family car trips are usually cheaper than airfares. It’s a good way to see much of the world without blowing the bank account. Although buying good equipment is a large upfront cost, it will pay off over the years if you can avoid staying in hotels.


5. Teach your kids about the goodness of other humans

There is something about camping that fosters a rare sense of camaraderie among travellers. It’s easy to strike up impromptu friendships with people in a campground that, under normal circumstances, you might never speak to. It shows kids that most strangers are interesting people with unique backgrounds and fascinating stories that only seem to come out around a campfire.


6. Camping is a good way to break out of the daily routine

It’s easy to get stuck in a rut, but there’s nothing quite like a family camping trip to shake things up, trigger new conversations, and create wonderful lifelong memories. It adds an element of adventure to life, and kids thrive on that, as do adults (even though we often forget it).


Via: treehugger

How to Easily Make Your Own Powerful Alkaline Water

Do you drink bottled water to stay hydrated? Grabbing bottled water is easy, but the chemicals are harsh on your body.



Everyone needs water to stay hydrated and keep their bodies running. Our bodies are made up of 70 to 80 percent water, so we need water to stay alive. Drinking bottled water is easy enough because they are easy to grab on the go and sip on the way to work. But, the chemicals, which are in bottled water and even tap water can be harmful to your health.



Drinking alkaline water provides you with great hydration and other health benefits. Other health benefits include:



1. Antioxidant properties: Alkaline water has antioxidant properties that can counteract free radicals that can cause premature aging and other conditions. It is also believed that drinking alkaline water can prevent cancer.

2. Cleansing features: drinking alkaline water also cleanses the organs in the body; specifically the colon. When the colon gets built up with toxins, they become poisonous to the body and alkaline water cleanses those toxins from the body. Keeping the colon clean and free of toxins will help you decrease the chances of getting stomach viruses, flu’s, colds, and other common illnesses.

3. Physical appearance: alkaline water rejuvenates the skin and keeps it hydrated. It aids the skin in replacing tissues and contributes to the elasticity in the skin. Drinking alkaline water also helps you to lose weight because the alkaline helps the body break down fatty acids in the body.



So, drinking alkaline water has its benefits, but buying it can be pretty costly. Instead of buying alkaline water, you can just make it yourself. Try using this recipe to make your alkaline water.




  • Full pitcher of filtered water
  • Two organic lemons
  • Two tablespoons of pink Himalayan salt





1. Fill your pitch with your filtered water
2. Cut your lemons into quarters and add them to the pitcher (make sure not to squeeze them)
3. Add the salt
4. Let the mixture sit overnight at room temperature
5. Your alkaline water is ready to drink! Enjoy!








Via buynongmoseeds

7 foods to help you sleep better

The CDC calls insufficient sleep a public health epidemic, those who suffer from insomnia know it more as an awful vexing nuisance that hampers quality of life and taxes productivity. Not only that, it is linked to everything from car crashes and occupational errors to chronic diseases like hypertension, diabetes, depression, and obesity, as well as cancer and increased mortality. Oh, elusive sleep!



An estimated 50 to 70 million U.S. adults have a sleep disorder, and about 4 percent of American adults use a prescription sleep aid, not to mention over-the-counter medications. But both families of sleep aids have their host of problems and side effects, from allergic reactions to “complex sleep-related behavior,” in which a person taking sleep-inducing sedatives might get up at night, eat, make phone calls, have sex, and even get in the car and go for a drive, all while not really quite awake. To sleep, perchance to get up and sleep-call an ex – ay, there’s the rub.



In the meantime, there has been ample research looking into foods that can help you sleep better. While they may not conk you out as forcefully as a sleeping pill, they can definitely have an effect. So in an effort to steer clear of pharmaceuticals and avoid a potentially embarrassing “complex sleep-related behavior,” here are some of the foods that experts say can inspire some Zs.



1. Tart cherry juice
Research out of Louisiana State University found that adults with insomnia who drank 8 ounces of tart cherry juice twice a day for two weeks had an average of 84 more minutes of sleep time nightly compared to two-week periods in which they drank no juice or a placebo. It is thought that cherry juice’s natural supply of the sleep-wake cycle hormone melatonin and the sleep-friendly amino acid tryptophan are behind the magic. Study co-author Frank L. Greenway, says, “Proanthocyanidins, or the ruby red pigments in tart cherry juice, contain an enzyme that reduces inflammation and decreases the breakdown of tryptophan, letting it go to work longer in your body.”



2. Kiwi
A study from Taiwan’s Taipei Medical University found that eating two kiwi fruits around an hour before bedtime had surprising results.Psychology Today reports that study participants fell asleep more quickly, with a decrease in falling-asleep time of 35.4 percent. They also slept 28.9 percent more soundly and slept better, with a 42.4 percent improvement on a standardized sleep quality questionnaire. Overall, total sleep time for the study subjects increased by 13.4 percent.



3. Seaweed
A University of Oxford study found that higher blood levels of omega-3 DHA (the fatty acids found in algae and seafood) were linked to better sleep. In a randomized, placebo-controlled study, the researchers examined if 16 weeks of taking 600 mg of algae supplement would improve the sleep of 362 children. Indeed, they found the children experienced better sleep, including less bedtime resistance, parasomnias and total sleep disturbance.



4. Walnuts
University of Texas researchers found that walnuts are a great source of melatonin and that eating them can lead to higher blood levels of this internal-clock controlling hormone, resulting in improved sleep.



5. Almonds
A study published in the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine found that if the body is suffering from low levels of magnesium, sleep problems often ensue. The National Institutes of Health lists almonds as the number one source of magnesium; adding almonds to your diet is good all around, but may be especially good for boosting some shut-eye.



6. Chamomile tea
Here’s one from grandma’s natural remedy playbook. According to theNational Institutes of Health, chamomile tea is a traditional remedy to treat insomnia and induce calm. Widely regarded as a mild tranquilizer and sleep-inducer, studies confirm its calming effect. One Japanese study found that chamomile extract helped rats fall asleep as effectively as rats that got a dose of the tranquilizer, benzodiazepine! Use two or three tea bags for best effect, and make sure to cover the cup while steeping.



7. Peanut butter sandwich
Researchers say that a spike of insulin can change our circadian rhythms and can induce sleep. A good dose of carbs and sugars can make people feel sluggish and so eating carbs at dinner can help slow your body down and prepare it for sleep. The National Sleep Foundation suggests a mix of protein and carbohydrates to induce slumber – peanut butter, or better yet, almond butter, on whole grain toast may be all you need to bring out your inner Morpheus.


Via: treehugger

3D Print Solar Panel Every 15 Seconds – The ‘Solar Pocket Factory’

Shawn Frayne and Alex Hornstein, two young inventors based in the Philippines, are taking their passion for clean free energy and developing a way to make it accessible and cheap for everyone. These guys are working tirelessly to provide a product that could be used by practically anyone to make homemade solar panels.

The factory is small enough to fit on a desktop and efficient enough to produce 300k to one million panels per year, up to one every 15 seconds. By cutting out much of the labor intensive process, which represents 50% of the total cost, this machine can dramatically reduce the price of solar. Their pocket solar panel producer can change the way the world views electricity.

What type of applications can a homemade solar panel have? For starters it can replace the need for outlets in a home for smaller electronics such as phones, computers, lamps, etc.

One of the more intriguing applications is the added versatility solar panels can provide. In short, with these panels you can use your electronics anywhere there’s sunshine .

Their initial Kickstarter campaign was quickly fully funded, but they are raising additional funds to redesign the CNC laser cutter with the intentions to open source the technology. Eventually they plan to power the solar panel maker using solar panels.

The product is continuously being improved and the technology is open source which makes it free for anyone to copy or improve upon.

Other grass-roots inventors, such as Ma Yehe — who invented a 3D printer to build houses – are beginning to emerge in hopes of improving the world. These are the type of inventors that are going to drive innovation and technology into the new age. Corrupt, politicized and controlled global marketplaces cannot suppress innovation anymore. The future is promising with the budding new wave of inventors with actual intentions to improve mankind with open source technology and ideas. Check out the video below and the Solar Pocket Factory website for more info.

Via: themindunleashed

How To Eliminate Ants From Your Home Naturally

In the summer months ants can be a real pest around the home and garden. Here are some natural remedies using household ingredients to keep them at bay.

Ants come into our homes in their search for food. Apart from the obvious advice of covering food, clearing up spillages and having garbage bins with lids here are some natural ways of beating their advance without using any harsh chemicals.

Mix together an equal amount of powdered sugar (also called icing sugar) and baking soda (formally called sodium bicarbonate). Place small amounts against the walls or in other areas where you would not normally walk but where you would normally see the ants. The ants will be attracted to the sugar and will eat some of it and collect more to take home to feed others, so all of them will get their share.
Powdered sugar is essential , larger grained sugar will not work. This is because the sugar and baking soda powders are similar in size and, once mixed together, the ants cannot separate the two items, so, as they eat the sugar, they will also ingest the baking soda, which they would otherwise avoid.
Once the ants eat the baking soda it will react with the formic acid in their stomachs and cause gas. The bodies of ants are unlike humans and they cannot eliminate gas so it will build up inside and eliminate them.

Classic vinegar is effective in getting rid of ants. Simply spray their entry paths with vinegar and they will be repelled by the strong odor. Include corners, counter tops, sinks and window ledges. Allow the vinegar to dry.
Apple cider vinegar can be mixed in equal measures with water and spray as before. This does not kill them but it will stop them returning.
Adding a few capfuls of vinegar to your floor cleaner on tiled floors also helps in keeping them at bay.
A more fragrant option is to mix vinegar, dish detergent and a few drops of peppermint oil. Usually spraying this once around the affected zones should leave these areas ant free for a season.

Table salt is the one of the best and the cheapest way to get rid of ants. Use ordinary table salt not health boosting Himalayan salt. Simply boil water and add a fairly large amount salt to it, stirring until it is dissolved. Pour into a spray bottle and spray where you usually see the ants.
This also works with cayenne and ground black pepper.

Regular dishwashing detergents are very harmful to ants. The soap components break down in waxy layers of the pests’ exoskeleton, causing dehydration. Mix soap with water and spray it in the entry points.

Lemon juice is the enemy of ants as the acid interferes with their internal tracking capabilities. Either pure lemon juice can be sprayed around the entry points, or mix some fresh lemon juice with water and spray around the affected zones in your kitchen.

There are several household products that repel ants as opposed to killing them. By using these at entry points you will create a repelling barrier that they will not cross. These include :

* cinnamon (both ground and in oil form)
* chili powder
* cayenne pepper
* chalk
* cornmeal
* baby powder
* black pepper
* ground coffee
* food grade diatomaceous earth
* lavender and mint sachets in closets, drawers, pantry, etc. repel ants


By trying one of these, or even a combination your home should be ant free.


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Via: naturalcuresnotmedicine



Here Are 33 Relatively Simple Things That Will Make Your Home Extremely Awesome


By Sara Reyes


If you want to make your home more efficient (and look better while you’re at it), you don’t necessarily have to break the bank. Sometimes, the simplest changes can make a world of difference. Take these 34 simple home improvement ideas, for example. You wouldn’t think that moving your outlets or adding an end table could change the flow and cool factor of your house, but it can.

And if you follow these tips, it will!

1. Add outlets to drawers to keep clutter off of the table top.


2. Add a half-table to your bathroom for extra storage space.


3. Build a free library for your neighbors.


4. Put heat-sensitive tile in your shower… just because.


5. Make the space your fake drawers take up functional.


6. Fake drawers are also a great spot for extra outlets.


7. Add a shelf to a long hallway for extra storage space.


8. Save space with collapsable drying racks.


9. Install dutch doors so you can watch your kids/pets without baby gates.


10. Add a sun tunnel to rooms you wish had more natural sunlight.


11. Buy a toilet seat where everyone can have their own tab.


12. If your garage is adjacent to your kitchen, add a little door to make unloading groceries easier.


13. Use stainless steel contact paper to make your appliances look more expensive.


14. Decorate the foundation of your home to make it pretty and functional.


15. Use recessed outlets so you can put your furniture against the wall.


16. Install your outlets underneath your cabinets so you don’t ruin your backsplash.


17. Replace your current shower head with this unique one.


18. Use slide-out drawers in the home for spices and pantry items.


19. Open a small tunnel to connect two rooms.


20. Instead of bunk beds, install classy murphy beds for your kids.


21. Add a small cabinet to extra space in the kitchen for cleaning supply storage.


22. Replace your old house numbers with modern fonts.


23. Put a sign on your bathroom so guests know where it is.


24. Add a simple window seat to the landing of your staircase.


25. Make your porch lights fancy with a chandelier.


26. Use kitchen drawers as cutting boards you can hide.


27. Use a slide-away step in your bathroom instead of a stepstool.


28. Stools on hinges save room in the kitchen.


29. Build drawers in the wasted space between studs in the wall.


30. Add mirrored tiles to windowless rooms.


31. Simple outdoor showers are perfect for beach houses and families who love going outdoors.


32. Install a simple dog bath to a mud room or entry way.


33. Turn your counter into storage space.


Some of these ideas may be more complicated than others, but I know I can handle installing a shower head, different outlet or changing my house’s numbers on the mailbox. Give some of these a try, they might make a bigger difference than you think… and share this list with others!

Via: viralnova




A Simple Recipe for Homemade Drain Cleaner


You Will Need:

2 cups baking soda
4 cups boiling water
1 cup vinegar

Directions for Homemade Drain Cleaner:

  • Remove all water from the sink or tub and pour about 1 cup of baking soda down the drain. Make sure that baking soda makes it down the drain.
  • Next, pour about  2 Cups of boiling water down the drain. The baking soda mixed with boiling water dissolves the sludge and gunk in the pipe, even if you don’t see it happening. Wait a few minutes.
  • Now, pour another cup baking soda down the drain then add 1 cup of white vinegar and plug the drain immediately. If you’re unclogging a double sink, plug both drains. You’ll hear sizzling coming up from the drain and see bubbles foaming up.
  • When the bubbles have died down, add the remaining boiling water down the drain.
  • Repeat this process if necessary. This can be used as a monthly treatment helps prevent future clogs too; simply pour a cup of baking soda down the drains followed by boiling water.


If the Drain Remains Clogged:

If the the drain remains clogged after using the homemade cleaner, you will need to use a small plunger for sinks. The baking soda and vinegar loosens the clogging material, freeing the gunk that should start moving around with the plunger’s pressure. Click here for a tutorial on using a sink plunger, and a video about how this awesome trick works!

  • Fill the sink with enough water  to seal the plunger around the bottom against the sink.
  • Push down fully and pull up quickly. Repeat if necessary.


How Does It Work?

Baking soda is a base and when combined with vinegar, an acid, reacts to form carbon dioxide and sodium acetate (remember the volcano you built in science class back in school- same concept! This also works as a magic combination for vegan baked goods!). In drains, it works to create scrubby bubbles on the drain’s insides. Instead of rising up and out, as with the volcano, it is sent down into the drain dissolving the gunk. These natural, non-toxic ingredients get flushed further down ensuring a clog-free drain. Baking soda and vinegar are common, non-toxic ingredients posing no health dangers when used as discussed. They are natural ingredients preferable to the sodium hydroxide, commonly known as lye, found in most drain cleaners. According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, sodium hydroxide can burn skin. If swallowed, it can cause chest and abdominal pain, and has the potential to lead to death if it severely damages the lungs, tissue, or causes a loss of pulse or shock. Ewww.



Via: greenlivingideas
Image source: myjournalkohn.blogspot.com


Baby Fox Caught In A Net Receives Much Needed Help



This cute fox kit managed to get itself all tangled up in a sports net in someone’s backyard. His siblings and mother were in a den in that very same yard, but unable to help him get free. They could only worry and watch.



Luckily for this family of foxes, the UK’s Wildlife Aid was there to lend a helping hand by cutting the baby fox loose from the net. The kit was a little panicked and trying to bite his way free, but thankfully the rescuer did his job.


Via: viralnova



Nigeria’s 1st Solar-Electric Car Built By Student


Segun Oyeyiola’s parents were always telling him, “you better find something better to do. Your siblings have completed their first degrees and rather than you do some stupid things.” Those “stupid things”, in Segun’s case, included building Nigeria’s first solar-electric car on the bones of an old Type 1 Bug.

At first, Segun says he was discouraged by people who said that no Nigerian has ever done it, and “they were saying the truth! But I was not deterred.”


As for the car itself, details are scarce. Given the size of the solar panel and (what I assume to be) the lack of access to modern li-ion or li-air batteries, I’d have to assume that the range and speed of the solar-electric VW are pretty limited. Certainly not enough to take on the ubiquitous Honda CG110 motorcycles that dominate Nigerian roads. Still, it’s something. “It will ease our movement from our house to the office,” Segun is quoted as saying, “to market, and to church.”

The construction of an electric car — even as a proof of concept! — is a big deal in a country where companies like Shell pay the local militia groups to suppress uprisings and maintain Nigeria’s status quo. Seen in that light, Segun’s car is a brave project. Good on him, then.

Source: cleantechnica
Image courtesy: oaupeeps