New Rage in Tabontabon: Bamboo Taxis

For many years, environmentalists have encouraged people to tread more lightly on the planet through buying local. The most common way to buy local is through fresh food purchased at a local farmer’s market, and to get there you should bike or walk since everyone knows that you can’t produce a sustainable car with local material. Right? Wrong. You’ve heard of bamboo bikes, well now there are bamboo taxis. These taxis were commissioned by the mayor of Tabontabon (in the Philippines) Rustico Balderian.

The bamboo taxis are made out of 90 percent bamboo and run on coconut biodiesel. The palm trees and wild bamboo stalks are native to the area.

There are two versions of the taxis. The ECO 1 taxi seats 20 people comfortably, versus six people on a motorcycle which up until now is a common way to travel. It runs for eight hours on one gallon of biodiesel (wow) and is covered by a Filipino woven mat. Want to make your taxi stand out from the crowd? Then rev it up with a custom paint job.

The ECO 2 taxi seats eight, also runs for eight hours on one gallon of biodiesel but is equipped with a stereo and sound system. A welcome addition I’m guessing since I assume these taxis don’t travel at excessive (or even moderate) speeds. Now the big question….how do these taxis hold up if it rains?

Bamboo Bike Designed by Calfe Design

I hope I’ve made you feel guilty about your unsustainble car. But if you’re not up to building your own bamboo taxi (or here in the States maybe we could build a switchgrass taxi) then you can start off with building your own bamboo bike….

Joanna Schroeder

Joanna is a writer and consultant specializing in renewable energy and sustainable agriculture issues.