The scraper bike movement is a microcosm of the larger sustainability imperative because they both share a common driver:
Adapting to scarce resources often requires tremendous creativity. The original scraper car phenomenon involved taking older cars with little market value and making them desirable through customization, offering a more affordable way to have a desirable car. This process was repeated in the form of scraper bikes, whereby kids that either can’t drive or can’t afford scraper cars can hook themselves up with a sweet ride. The scraper bike is an innovation that addresses scarce economic resources, turning old bike parts that may have ended up in a landfill into pieces of moving art that double as carbon-free transportation.
There is also a direct connection between scraper bikes and non-violence. Scarcity is often responsible for pushing communities towards violence. Scraper bikes provide those with limited resources a channel for creative self-expression. Young people can feel seen, empowered, and be a part of a community that is organizing peace rides for non-violence and advocating for sustainability.
What’s the lesson for business and policy? Creating a more sustainable world means getting more done with increasingly scarce resources. It’s going to mean non-violence and the equitable distribution of those scarce resources. It’s going to mean empowering communities to become more self-sufficient, and coming up with policy, products, ideas, and services that create meaningful value within the context of a community’s culture. In short, we’re going to need a helluva lot of the type creativity and enthusiasm underlying the scraper bike movement.