Airdate: Feb 17, 2009
Scientist: Michael Bream
Kids' Science Challenge: Skateboards - Envirofriendly pt. 2
Water based inks and recycled glass are part of the recipe for a greener skateboard.
music, ambience skateboards
“Just in the last decade or two we’ve seen a real big push for these less harmful materials, and there’s really no limit as to where we can go with that.”
Skateboarding is one of the fastest growing sports in the United States and around the world. And some companies are trying to engineer an environmentally friendly skateboard. I’m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet. Michael Bream is founder of Gravity skateboards.
“When I started manufacturing 15 years ago, it was the norm that everybody used these enamel inks, just really bad for the people that worked near em, and they just smelled awful. And nowadays everybody’s gone to water based inks, and you have these inks now that don’t have the fumes, don’t have the toxicity.”
In order to get a better grip on their board, skateboarders cover the top of their boards with grip tape which has a grit to it like sandpaper. Michael Bream’s company has come up with a greener grip tape, too.
“We’re trying to look at all the ingredients of the board, asking ourselves the question, is there a way to do this better, and one example of this is a product that we call Enviro-Grip, and it’s a grip tape made from recycled bottles. They go to a specialty glass grinder that basically crushes up the broken glass at a recycling plant, and we purchase this, and we actually use it as an ingredient in our grip tape that we adhere to the boards using a water based polyurethane. In the past they used more of a petroleum based product. We just basically tried to figure out a method of manufacturing that would just have less of an impact.”
If you know a third to sixth grader who has ideas for designing an environmentally friendly skateboard, have them check out our latest project, the Kids’ Science Challenge, at kidsciencechallenge.com.
Pulse of the Planet is made possible by the National Science Foundation. I’m Jim Metzner.