There's a limitless number of futuristic contraptions for toning down and bulking up every muscle in the human body. But some of us still long for the days when “exercising” entailed a leisurely stroll through the gardens.
The cheeky innovators at Hendrick’s Not-So-Convenient Department of Technology have developed an apparatus that matches this sentiment exactly: the Hendrick’s High Wheel. Like any good stationary bike, this gleaming green machine is stationary, and it’s also a bike. But unlike its contemporary counterparts, you won’t have to worry about gasping and sweating your way through a High Wheel workout.
When penny-farthings—so named because the size discrepancy between the two wheels evoked British coins—were invented during the 19th century, they were meant to transport people with as little effort as possible. Hence the massive front wheels, which completed one full rotation with every turn of the pedals. Hendrick’s version of the bicycle also values ease over exertion; and since you’re not actually going anywhere, you’re not at risk of toppling head-first over the handlebars, as befell so many Victorian cyclists.
The Hendrick’s High Wheel lacks a touch screen, a tracking system, and all the other trappings of a high-tech stationary bike, but it does have a few bells and whistles of its own. Affixed to the front of the bicycle is a light bulb, illuminated by your pedaling power, and you can rest a well-worn Charles Dickens novel in the golden book stand. Directly to its left is a drink holder large enough for a 1-liter water bottle (or a more modestly sized cocktail). The High Wheel also features cucumber-shaped steps for easy mounting, and golden cucumbers etched onto the wheel that catch the afternoon sunlight—nods to the signature cucumber infusion in Hendrick’s Gin.
At $2493, the Hendrick’s High Wheel might not be for everyone. In fact, since there are only three in existence, it quite literally can’t be. That said, you don’t need to own the machine itself to enjoy what it stands for: a stiff drink, a good book, and a loose definition of exercise.
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By this point, your eco-friendly pal probably has a reusable water bottle that accompanies them everywhere and some sturdy grocery totes that keep their plastic-bag count below par. Here are 10 other sustainable gift ideas that’ll help them in their conservation efforts.
1. Reusable Produce Bags; $13
The complimentary plastic produce bags in grocery stores aren’t great, but neither is having all your spherical fruits and vegetables roll pell-mell down the checkout conveyor belt. Enter the perfect alternative: mesh bags that are nylon, lightweight, and even machine-washable.
Saying goodbye to disposable tea bags calls for a quality tea diffuser, and there’s really no reason why it shouldn’t be shaped like an adorable animal. This “ParTEA Pack” includes a hippo, platypus, otter, cat, and owl, which can all hang over the edge of a glass or mug. (In other words, you won’t have to fish them out with your fingers or dirty a spoon when your loose leaf is done steeping.)
Typing your notes on a tablet or laptop might save trees, but it doesn’t quite capture the feeling of writing on paper with a regular pen. The Rocketbook, on the other hand, does. After you’re finished filling a page with sketches, musings, or whatever else, you scan it into the Rocketbook app with your smartphone, wipe it clean with the microfiber cloth, and start again. This one also comes with a compatible pen, but any PILOT FriXion pens will do.
It’s hard to compete with the convenience of plastic wrap or tin foil when it comes to covering the exposed end of a piece of produce or an open tin can—and keeping those leftovers in food storage containers can take up valuable space in the fridge. This set of five silicone Food Huggers stretch to fit over a wide range of circular goods, from a lidless jar to half a lemon.
Swiffers may be much less unwieldy than regular mops, but the disposable pads present a problem to anyone who likes to keep their trash output to a minimum. These machine-washable pads fasten to the bottom of any Swiffer WetJet, and the thick microfiber will trap dirt and dust instead of pushing it into corners. Each pad lasts for at least 100 uses, so you’d be saving your eco-friendly friend quite a bit of money, too.
A fondness for fizzy over flat water doesn’t have to mean buying it bottled. Not only does the SodaStream let you make seltzer at home, but it’s also small enough that it won’t take up too much precious counter space. SodaStream also sells flavor drops to give your home-brewed beverage even more flair—this pack from Amazon ($25) includes mango, orange, raspberry, lemon, and lime.
There’s a good chance that anyone with a pet (or just an intense dislike for lint) has lint-rolled their way through countless sticky sheets. iLifeTech’s reusable roller boasts “the power of glue,” which doesn’t wear off even after you’ve washed it. Each one also comes with a 3-inch travel-sized version, so you can stay fuzz-free on the go.
Even if you keep a compost pile in your own backyard, it doesn’t make sense to dash outside every time you need to dump a food scrap. A countertop compost bin can come in handy, especially if it kills odors and blends in with your decor. This 1.3-gallon pail does both. It’s made of stainless steel—which matches just about everything—and contains an activated-charcoal filter that prevents rancid peels and juices from stinking up your kitchen.
Nobody likes starchy, scratchy clothes, but some people might like blowing through bottles of fabric softener and boxes of dryer sheets even less. Smart Sheep is here to offer a solution: wool dryer balls. Not only do they last for more than 1000 loads, they also dry your laundry faster. And since they don’t contain any chemicals, fragrances, or synthetic materials, they’re a doubly great option for people with allergies and/or sensitive skin.
While plenty of devices are rechargeable themselves, others still require batteries to buzz, whir, and change the TV channel—so it’s good to have some rechargeable batteries on hand. In addition to AA batteries, AAA batteries, and a charger, this case from Panasonic comes with tiny canisters that function as C and D batteries when you slip the smaller batteries into them.
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