Not too long ago I read about a computer tower that was made completely out of cardboard. Itís internal components are obviously still made out of the same metals and plastics but the biggest piece was made out of a material that didnít use a lot of energy to make and could easily be recycled. This morning I read an article about a man who also made a bike almost entirely of cardboard. Those parts that werenít made of cardboard were made out of recycled parts such as the chain which was an accessory belt once used in a car and the tires made from reconstituted rubber from old car tires. I think the most significant point is the fact that cardboard was used to make the frame of a bike that is intended to support the weight of an adult. A lot of times Iíll read about a new material thatís meant to be greener than something itís replacing but itíll have its own non green drawbacks or it wonít work as well so naturally I was waiting to read about the dangerous chemical this cardboard is doused with in order to give it its strength. To my surprise the article explains that, ďthe cardboard is treated with a secret concoction made of organic materials to give it its waterproof and fireproof qualitiesĒ and the strength comes from the way the cardboard is folded. I think these newer, greener and cheaper methods being used to make objects that have been around forever shows that there is always a cleaner and better way to do things. Now that someone has shown that cardboard can be used to replace something that is traditionally made out of metal I hope to see this technology replace other materials in the future as well.
Inventor Izhar Gafni hopes to be able to give away bikes in poor countries and sell them for $20 in others. If you're curious to see what the bike looks like you can click here.