Panda Bikes

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Nothing makes our job easier at Lux & Eco than when an eco-friendly practice becomes a trend. Nothing makes having your dream job at Panda a reality like having a group of friends who, with you, have a skill-set that revolves around your passion. And when both scenarios collaborate to bring you the smartest, sleekest looking mode of transportation currently on the market, we can all thank bamboo.

The masterminds behind Panda Bikes are proud to provide a line of bicycles – arriving through our site just in time for the sunshine – each personally designed and hand crafted with the world’s most sustainable, natural building material: bamboo. All Colorado State University alums, mastering in Global, Social, and Sustainable Enterprise, the threesome of Jacob Castillo, John McKinney and Mark Schlink founded Panda on the basis that we should celebrate the reality that when something is fun and also innately sustainable, like cycling, it can snowball behavior into a conscious, trending lifestyle. And when the market for such a product is sure to continue booming, the Panda team feels it is only right to provide such a positive population with the highest quality product using the most cutting edge technology, all based on a conceivable knowledge of nature. And this knowledge that fuels the engineering behind Panda’s bamboo bikes is simple.

At Panda bicycles we are passionate about making the world a better place through meaningful interaction with our environment. Our unique bicycle design speaks to a culture of treading lightly, even if you are riding hard.”The Panda Bicycle Culture

Aluminum, which most bikes are manufactured with, is an environmentally corrosive material from its initial extraction, to its refinery, to its most likely improper final disposal (when neglecting to recycle it). The digging required to retrieve aluminum in its rawest form within clay and rocks, plus the greenhouse gas emissions constantly pumped from factories needed to make this most widely used metal, all combine to make aluminum the leading component of acid rain.

Deforestation is arguable the most widespread environmentally destructive process our planet experiences. The size of forest land disappearing, and the rate at which these massive clumps of land are then becoming barren desert, is at this point an irreversible problem. The natural process of forest plants absorbing carbon dioxide and replenishing the atmosphere with oxygen and moisture (regulating the environment in total) is completely disrupted. Without trees, there is no temperature or water maintenance for the land they cover. This means complete soil erosion, loss of entire habitats, and elimination of the organisms that lived below the canopy. The land is then forever useless for commercial and economical purposes, the likely drives behind taking the trees down to begin with. Trees cannot be regrown once uprooted, only new ones can be planted, and it takes decades for them to grow once again to their full potential.

Also attributing to rising greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and the series of environmental consequences that follow is our dependency on petroleum- fueled vehicles. There is only so much oil on the planet. It is not renewable and, like aluminum, it is not a clean resource. Eventually, as the supply of oil runs out, prices will hike with the demand for what is left. And in terms of human health, diseases like obesity and diabetes are directly linked to how much – or how little – exercise we complete. With over 1 billion cars on the road, relying on automobiles for ALL of our traveling, especially short distances on beautiful days, is hurting the environment and our bodies.

As heavy as these problems are, one lightweight, all-encompassing solution has been packed into the steel-lugged, bamboo framed bikes built by hand every day at Panda. Biking, whether for pleasure, exercise, or transportation, is a universal activity that will only grow in popularity as more people realize the environmental and health benefits it can bring. It is reliable and sustainable. These characteristics are also the best way to describe bamboo. Some may be surprised to know that bamboo is actually a stronger material than most hardwoods, including oak. It is light, resilient in extreme weather conditions, and brawny as concrete. It also has a very natural, aesthetically pleasing look to out, opted by many as alternatives to traditional furniture, fencing, and houseplants. Even better, it is a completely renewable natural resource. While it is as robust as a tree, bamboo is really a type of grass, meaning its deep roots produce new stalks when exposed ones are removed. And these stalks grow at an average 3 feet a day. Their root system also keeps soil in equilibrium and prevents damage caused by erosion. Bamboo’s ability to photosynthesize is 35% more productive than trees as well. On top of bamboo’s environmental aid and luxurious look, this plant is also one of the leading sources of revenue for many developing countries, as the market surrounding its known benefits aren’t an emerging idea, just one that needs to continue to spread.

This is exactly what Panda has done. They harnessed the power of a beautiful, powerful plant and applied it to a growing need for innovation. The result: a stunning, top-performing bicycle that will alleviate your automotive woes and elevate your eco-conscious spirit. The flawless design and the physic nature of bamboo even provides a smoother ride with Panda bikes compared to conventional designs. Using “passion, craftsmanship, customer satisfaction, integrity, balance, innovation”, and most importantly, “fun”, Panda has delivered a luxury product that you can’t help but believe in. Supporting Panda not only solidifies that social entrepreneurship can lead us into a cleaner future, but that we can move forward in this direction with style.

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Allison Beauregard

Allison is a New York City based writer with a focus on sustainability. Her work demonstrates how it is possible to have the “things” that make us happy without compromising the resources that provide these goods. With this vision, Allison sees a future where environmental degradation is reversed and the quality of human life is equally distributed. She is the Category Editor of The Franklin Report and was among the top 5 contributors for Elephant Journal in October 2014.

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