As always, this time every year we all make new year’s resolutions and we hope that we can keep them. Among the most popular ones are those related weight loss, or more precisely, eating more healthy and doing more exercise. Of course, high up in the chart are the green tech resolutions, recycling, reducing waste, reducing water and energy waste, and caring more about out environment all together.
Now, if you are still looking for one that can combine all of the above, and still be possible to keep, here is a suggestion for you. It comes from a promising social enterprise, called BEAMZ. These guys have found a sustainable way to harvest wood material, which can be used for building light and flexible bicycle frames.
The secret is to acquire the wood material through an old technique for forest management, known as coppicing. This is a process, which involves cutting down young trees to near ground level. In this way, the plants make new growth from the roots or the stump. Each year, different areas within the woodlands are cut following a cutting rotation. This gives enough time for the trees to regenerate, while the woodland gives constant supply of material.
BEAMZ get their materials through coppicing local indigenous trees. Because the trees are managed sustainably and are given enough time to renew themselves, the material is very eco-friendly, and perfect for any DIY projects. The guys at BEAMZ are betting on building bicycles.
Their first prototype, called Betula bike, weighs roughly 11kg, and has characteristics that are no worse than any high performance bike. The frame is made from coppiced birch, and it is held together with hemp fiber and resin. Birch is also the wood that forms the forks. The handlebars are made from willow.
The Betula bike is made out of sustainable, renewable, eco-friendly material, which is harvested locally, and therefore does not need to be transported far. This material also has to be handled properly. If the company manages to reach a stage of large-scale manufacturing, than there will be a lot of new job opportunities for local craftsmen. In addition, as it is a bicycle, and it is a good one, it will bring huge joy to its owner, making him/her keep up with that healthy and sporty resolution.
The makers are looking into starting a croudfunding campaign later on this year. We will keep an eye for it and let you know as soon as it is out.
Image (c) BEAMZ