Giving Old Bikes New Life: Eco-Friendly Promotional Products

What happens to a bike when you’re done with it?

You might re-sell it or give it away, but if it’s beyond repair or it makes more financial sense to buy a new bike instead of fix the old one, it’s likely it ends up getting thrown out.

17.4 million bikes were sold in the US in 2015. While it would be wrong to assume those bikes replaced bikes thrown in the garbage, we can assume that some of them were.

And, what about all of those bike parts that get replaced? What happens to those?

Americans make up only 5% of the global population, but we generate 30% of the world’s garbage.

While Rebike is only a small company (intentionally so), we have a double-edged mission: to divert recyclable bike parts from landfills, and to also decrease the promotional product industry’s carbon footprint by upcycling those bike parts into eco-friendly promotional products.

Upcycling bike parts

Every month, we collect tons of used bike parts from bike shops all over the US, and prepare them for their new lives as eco-friendly promotional products like Oval Bamboo Keychains and Engraved Bamboo Coasters.

Bike shops throw their greasy bike chains in a box. When the box is full, we send UPS to pick it up. Once the bike parts get here, we clean them and break them for the products they’ll be used for. It’s a fun job!

Why upcycling is important

While we couldn’t find data to show exactly how many bike parts are thrown out each year, it’s no secret that our landfills contain a lot of recyclable and upcyclable materials. In fact, $11.4 billion worth of recyclable materials live in our landfills. Enough aluminum is tossed out every year to rebuild the entire American commercial air fleet every three months.

We have created so much waste that isn’t being reused. There is a huge opportunity to do more in terms of upcycling, or creating something new from something old. Upcycling is creative, and in most cases, also requires less energy processing items compared to the energy required to manufacture the original products. The more we can divert from our ever-growing landfills, the better.

Interested in eco-friendly promotional products made from upcycled bike chains and compostable bamboo for your company or event? Request samples today.