Discover Your Inner… Tube


"So, any time you're gettin' low, 'stead of lettin' go, just remember that ant
Oops, there goes another rubber tree plant"

With the world apparently careering headlong towards some kind of uncontrollable natural resource smash and grab bun fight, recycling the natural commodities we consume has never been more important. 

Ever since ancient Mayan people of Central America first use natural tree latex to make bouncy balls and tie axe head together humans have not been able to get there hands on enough rubber. Used in products from waterproof clothing to piston washers, it wasn't until once Charles Goodyear (not a Vulcan) discovered how to vulcanize the stuff in 1839, that demand for rubber went through the roof. His discovery coincided perfectly with the rise of the industrial revolution and the invention of the bicycle and the rest, as they say, is history.

But the story of rubber is far from being all good. Having just come back from cycling in South East Asia i have seen first hand the environmental destruction the rubber trade produces. Vast swathes of hillsides from Cambodia to China have been stripped bare of their natural vegetation o make way for the shallow-rooted, water hungry rubber trees that now carpet the landscape in uniform rows that stretch for miles. These plantations have made the soil unstable, they have pushed out thousands or indigenous species and they have sucked much of the land dry of its natural water.

 
Rubber

So what is an environmentally conscious cyclist to do when he or she needs some more inner tubes or tyres for a trusty steed? Well until a suitable tubeless tyre is invented we are over a barrel. But that doesn't mean we have to leave our inner tubes to the binman. I have used mine to strap down panniers on long trips and often cut ruined ones into this strips that make perfect camp fire-lighters. Lauren Junker has gone one step further.

Started in 2006 by Lauren Junker, Totally Tubular Design is a company dedicated
to using as much trash as possible to create the coolest products
possible. By enlisting the help of local bike shops Lauren was able to create a line of products that are 100% reuse, and her specialty is, you guessed it… inner tubes and tyres.

From stylish bags to trendy wallets, the Totally Tubular product range is an inspiration and I cant wait for their kit to hit the street of London. 

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This entry was posted on Friday, June 11th, 2010 at 10:57 and is filed under Bits for Bikes. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed or trackback from your own site. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 Comments

  1. Love it. I want to make one… but suspect it would turn out significantly less beautiful and/or sturdy.

  2. Indian Summer Showcase—a cultural amalgamation featuring indigenous native art, dance, film, food and music.
    This summer’s Having just come back from cycling in South East Asia i have seen first hand the environmental destruction the rubber trade produces. Vast swathes of hillsides from Cambodia to China have been stripped bare of their natural vegetation o make way for the shallow-rooted, water hungry rubber trees that now carpet the landscape in uniform rows that stretch for miles. These plantations have made the soil unstable, they have pushed out thousands or indigenous species and they have sucked much of the land dry of its natural water.

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