There comes a time in every car's life when it must sip its final gallon of fossil fuel and cough out one last cloud of noxious gas before being sentenced to spend its twilight years rusting in a junkyard or getting scavenged for parts. But thanks to a creative project underway in Portugal, one retired old clunker has been given a chance to make amends for its polluting past life -- by being resurrected as a bicycle.
Working in partnership with B-Bicycle Culture Magazine, a team from Lisbon's Rcicla Bicletas shop set out to build a brand new bike made entirely from parts salvaged from a single junkyard Mercedes. Their endeavor, named the Carma Project, is about more than just reusing scrap metal to make something new and functional -- its aim is to counteract the car's sooty footprint by being a cleaner, more eco-friendly way of getting around.
According to the folks at the Carma Project, the original Mercedes had logged 159,768 kilometres during its time on the road -- and the bike they built from its parts has a goal to do the same, with help. Instead of selling the bike, which is itself a work of art, the team is inviting anyone who wants to take the bike around, tracking its progress via GPS.
A bicycle with the karma of a car and with a mission: to compensate the KMs the car ran. That's why it's not to sell, buy or donate. Carma was made to run and that's why it's not just ours. It's yours. It's for everyone who wishes to contribute to the KMs it has to compensate by riding it.
Carma is a new chance for the environment. For the economy. For people. For the world.
Considering that tens of millions of cars wind up in the scrapyard each year, even if just a fraction were creatively recycled into a cleaner form of transportation, it could lead to a significant reduction in air pollution and traffic -- and that's karma everyone can benefit from.