Hemp bikes prove to be a more eco-friendly alternative

By Katie Burnside

Just when bikes couldn’t seem to get more eco-friendly, the
green revolution has taken things one step further.

Bicycle companies such as Calfee Design, along with other
companies like Surftech, a surfboard manufacturer, have switched
from their usual production materials to more environmentally
friendly substances.

After watching his dog attempt and fail to chew through a stalk
of bamboo, designer Craig Calfee developed a line of bicycle frames
made out of hemp and bamboo, said Calfee in a recent Los Angeles
Times interview.

The idea of naturally made sports equipment is a positive
opportunity for college campuses.

Commuter colleges like Cal Poly can look outside the box for
environmentally friendly means of transportation.

The kinesiology department could reap the benefits of such
equipment by linking physical education and green ideas.

“If attained, such equipment would be considered an advantage to
the department of kinesiology,” said Dr. Ken Hansen, a professor of
kinesiology and health promotion. “In my classes specifically, I am
always talking about how to integrate other subjects into the
physical education curriculum. This would be a good example of how
to tie physical education in with environmental awareness.”

Physical education can be taken outside the classroom for
recreational benefits as well.

“It’s good to know that the environmental movement is spreading
to athletics,” said Elio Garcia, a third-year marketing student.
“Knowing that I’m helping the environment as well as having fun
sounds like an awesome idea.”

Calfee describes his bike frames as tougher in terms of impact
resistance and more absorbent of road vibrations, allowing cyclists
to ride farther without tiring.

The surfboard industry is also making strides in using more
environmentally friendly products.

Ninety percent of all surfboard blanks – unshaped and uncut
boards – were previously produced by the company Clark Foam.

Since 2005, the company has been shut down because of constant
complaints from the Environmental Protection Agency concerning the
use of hazardous materials.

Companies like Surftech have now composed blanks out of less
toxic materials.

The new and improved surfboards are said to last 10 times longer
and are more durable than the polyester resin boards. The downside
to the boards is the cost. An epoxy surfboard costs $450 to $700,
which is 10 to 20 percent more expensive than surfboards sold
now.

Sports equipment, such as soccer balls, are also going
green.

With rubber harvesting depleting forests, many manufacturers are
switching from synthetic leather to an FSC-certified rubber. This
means it has been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council and
the rubber is from a responsibly managed forest.

Fair Trade Sports uses the certified rubber for both the inner
bladder and coating of the balls.

“Given that about 300 grams out of the typical 420 gram
full-size soccer ball is rubber, it was the best place to start
building eco-friendliness into the product,” said Scott James,
founder of Fair Trade Sports, in a Los Angeles Times article.

James said his products are moderately priced from $30 to
$60.

With sports equipment going green, more people may get involved
with helping the environment while having fun as well.

“I would totally buy more sports equipment now, knowing that
it’s going to help the environment,” said Saggy Sothsavanh, a
second-year psychology student.

Hemp bikes prove to be a more eco-friendly alternative

Courtesy of www.calfeedesign.com

Hemp bikes prove to be a more eco-friendly alternative

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