Bikes are amongst the most efficient transportation systems on the planet, converting up to 99% of a person’s power into mobility that’s up to five times faster than walking. Problem is, they have a large carbon footprint in their manufacturing, and although they run the gamut in pricing, they are out of reach for many, particularly in the developing nations.
Now imagine if a bicycle could be built using only inexpensive recycled materials…say like cardboard. Izhar Gafni, an award winning designer has done just that, creating the Alfa, the worlds first practical cardboard bike.
The Alfa weighs 20lbs, yet supports riders up to 24 times its weight. It’s mostly cardboard and 100% recycled materials, yet uses a belt-driven pedal system that makes it maintenance free. And, maybe best of all, it’s project designed to be manufactured at about $9 to $12 per unit (and just $5 for a kids version), making it not only one of the most sustainable bikes you could imagine, but amongst the cheapest.
Just imagine the impact for developing nations, especially when fitted with an optional small motor upgrade to enhance range–or what you could do in a small school district where every child could be given a bike in place of a few days of school-bus gas.
It’s strong, it’s durable, it’s cheap….best of all it’s made of cardboard….I’ll take a dozen please.