It should go without saying that as an environmentally-minded individual (and avid shopper), I am always on the hunt for cool, eco-fabulous handmade goods. The things that always catch my eye and win my heart are the ones that start off as ordinary household items, but become objects of beauty once they pass through the imaginations of clever, talented people. One such piece is this upcycled necklace by Danish maker PalePink, which I stumbled upon during a recent browse through the many “green” shops on Etsy. At first glance, you would never guess that something so lovely could’ve started its life as a common rubber inner tube! Each one-of-a-kind necklace is carefully cut by hand from a single tube in PalePink’s Copenhagen studio. Each piece is as unique as its wearer.
Finding those recycled bicycle inner-tube necklaces started me thinking about my own bike, “Holly Go-lightly”, and all the reasons that I have for riding her. After walking, cycling is one of the greenest forms of transportation there is. Bike-riding is emission-free, generates zero-pollution and is practically carbon-neutral. Beyond that, though, I think my #1 reason to ride a bike is because it’s so much FUN! I love pumping the pedals and feeling the wind in my hair as I pick up speed. It’s amazing what you see, hear and smell when you’re on a bike, too.
There’s a whole world of subtleties that get missed when you’re confined to the interior of a motor vehicle. As soon as you take away engine noise, blinking lights and the concentration required for piloting a 3000 lb pile of metal and glass, you open yourself up to all sorts of sensory delights. The next time you have to zip to the bakery for a loaf of bread, why not leave the car in the garage and hop on your bike instead? You’ll smell the freshly-baked bread from blocks away…plus with all of that exercise you’ll be getting, you won’t have to say no to that brownie tempting you from the display case!
5×5” art print available at the Pigeon Print Shop on Etsy.
Whether you are running your errands on two wheels or four, you’ll want to bring along one of these cute totes by The Craft Pantry. Cammie, the artisan behind The Craft Pantry, makes each of these bags from durable 100% recycled cotton and hand-screens them with lovely vintage bicycling images. Tossed over your shoulder or tucked securely in your bike’s basket, these roomy bags will hold all of your purchases with a touch of whimsy.
Fun and environmental benefits aside, have you ever given any consideration to how much it takes to operate one car for a full year? I did the calculations the other day and I was stunned! Besides the expense of the car alone, the cost of gas, maintenance and insurance adds up to thousands of dollars annually. A reliable bike, on the other hand, needs little in the way of funds to keep it on the road. To thank your bike for keeping you so frugal, treat it to one of these cool and affordable “Bike Burritos” from the Bike Burrito Etsy shop. Each “burrito” is made by hand in Long Beach, California and designed to carry all of your bike essentials in a funky, functional package. Dozens of fabric combinations are available, but custom orders are always welcome. There’s even a “wet burrito”, but I’m almost afraid to ask! ;-)
For information on bike maintenance and more, visit The League of American Bicyclists.
Life is like riding a bicycle – in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein