Earth Week 2019:
Addressing Campus Bike Waste
Bike waste has been a long-recognized but tough-to-tackle issue at Dartmouth that we continuously work to address. In fact, our entire program was founded upon a mission to repurpose abandoned bikes or prevent them from becoming abandoned in the first place. We work towards our goals by providing repair services, teaching our community basic maintenance and mechanic skills, and discouraging the annual influx of unreliable bikes that will inevitably end up broken, rusted, and neglected.
This Earth Week, we decided to take an unconventional approach to address campus bike waste -- by creating and installing art at the most visible places on campus to engage a wider audience, raise awareness about the magnitude of this issue, and challenge our Dartmouth community to make positive changes to meet our zero bike waste goals.
The Dartmouth Bikes Earth Week project was envisioned by Quang Dang '19 and quickly became a collaborative effort with Max Saylor '19 helping to take lead with acquiring funding, designing the sculptures, and creating the timeline for project completion.
The entire group of 8 mechanics helped to frame our strategy. We wanted these sculptures to do 3 things: (1) display the actual quantity of bike waste that goes unnoticed, (2) put the impact of bike waste into perspective by compiling research and data about bicycle manufacturing processes, and (3) inspire everyone to actually do something about it.
Our sculptures were built by the Dartmouth Bikes mechanics and a group of incredible volunteers from the Sustainability Office and our broader campus community. They were installed at 4 locations around campus: Robinson Hall Lawn, Dartmouth Hall Lawn, Baker Tower Lawn, and in front of the Class of 1953 Commons. Each with a unique design. Each with its own purpose. But each with a motivation to tackle the same challenge.
Location: Robinson Hall Lawn
Materials: Bicycle (frame, handlebars, chain, wheel, derailleur, crank, pedal, saddle, seat post, chainring, cassette, shift levers, grips, brake mechanisms.... the list goes on), wooden frame, hinges, screws.
Description: These disassembled bike parts represent the many components of one bicycle. On average, manufacturing a single bike results in the emission of 530lbs of CO2. We, the students of Dartmouth, waste ~250 bikes each year. This means we emit 66.25 Tons of CO2 annually from bikes that end up abandoned on our campus. This is equivalent to driving between LA and Boston 63 times!
Our Call to Action
Reduce your personal bike waste in the following ways:
If you want a bike:
Invest in a durable used or new bike (browse pinkbike, craigslist, or dartlist for good used options!)