Bamboo Bicycles: Reinventing the Wheel
The Yonso Project in South Africa is not reinventing the wheel, but they are reusing it. The Bamboo Cycle Company first created bamboo bicycles in 1984, unfortunately, they disappeared soon thereafter due to lack of commercial success. However, over one hundred years later, the bamboo bike is making a comeback. There are a number of companies who see promise in the projections for eco-friendly transportation (those projections expect 197 billion US dollars spent in 2020).
Bamboo bikes contribute to environmental friendliness on two major fronts: they burn clean energy (your own), and the materials leave little carbon footprint behind. The bikes are lighter than traditional versions, making them easier to transport. Additionally, bamboo makes these vehicles stronger – 28,000 newtons per square inch versus steel’s 23,000.
Creation and manufacture of bamboo bikes is used to encourage economic growth in developing countries. Not only does the trade provide jobs, but it also spurns local agricultural communities.
With projects like this and that of the Green School in Bali creative minds are finding more uses for bamboo and leaving less of a carbon footprint.