In 1994, K2 invented and introduced their Softboot skate design that revolutionized the inline skate world. Now you can chalk up another revolutionary change for K2 with their Eco skate line. We’re sure that you’ve heard the notorious “go green” phrase. Well K2 has taken reducing our generations’ carbon footprint to heart and has undertaken the process of finding the greenest, most eco-friendly ways to bring its products to you without sacrificing any degree of quality. Enter K2′s 2009 Eco Line.
Featuring 2 skate models, the men’s Etu and the women’s Maia, K2′s Eco skates are unlike anything that you’ve ever seen. At first glance these skates will appear to be just another skate, but look deeper and you’ll see an abundance of eco-friendly characteristics, all geared toward achieving a cleaner planet for future generations.
The most noticeable difference with K2′s Eco skates exists with the frame. Skates in the Eco line have frames that are made of Bamboo…yes, we said Bamboo. Unlike other materials that skate frames have been constructed of in previous years, Mao Bamboo is a sustainable material that not only outperforms aluminum frames, but its strength to weight ratio is second to none.
For you this means that the Bamboo frame will be as durable as other K2 models that feature an aluminum frame, only the frame’s material will replenish itself after it is farmed for use. To give you an idea how sustainable bamboo is, K2 states that Bamboo can grow 30-50 centimeters per day. This means that a third of bamboo stems can be farmed for use without reducing the size of the bamboo forest.
While the frame is the most noticeable to the eye, it isn’t the only Eco-conscious trait of the Eco line. The skate liner, closure system, and skate upper also incorporate sustainable material. Polyethylen-terephthalat, more commonly referred to as PET, is a fully recyclable plastic that is used in the construction of the skate liner, mesh exterior, and laces. What makes PET such a great material to use is that it can be found in many items you use everyday. Items such as water bottles, soda bottles, laundry detergent bottles, and other items use PET. Take a look at any product you purchase and look for a recycle triangle with a 1 in the middle. This designates a product using PET material.
In addition to PET in the liner and laces, K2 built the upper of its Eco skates around a recycled lasting board. While it may appear to be a minuscule change, one that will be practically unnoticeable to you, the user, it will have large and positive effect on the environment.
To further add to their focus on reducing their carbon “skateprint”, K2 offers the following suggestions for recycling/reusing your old inline skates:
► Take your old wheels and use them on your luggage
► Remove all metal parts and recycle them
► Take the skate upper to a local Nike store for shredding
► Take plastic skate bases and cuffs to a recycling facility
► Donate your skates to a local Boys and Girls Club or after school skating program
Also, be on the lookout for a recycle/take-back program from K2 in the next couple of years. K2 is working with their suppliers and shops to create such a program, which will allow them to take materials and build them into future new skates.