‘Green’ company picks La Jollan’s speakers as eco-friendly designs
By Emily DeRuy
La Jolla resident Conor Hulburt has been designing speakers for more than a decade, since he was in high school. Now, all the time spent developing and testing new models is paying off. Hulburt’s bamboo theater system has been selected as one of the top 12 projects in the United States by Cali Bamboo, a company committed to sustainable products and Earth-friendly design.
Finally built on his 30th birthday after extensive planning and constructing with the help of his father, the speakers took Hulburt a year to design. Made from bamboo plywood and banana pulp, the materials used to build the speakers are durable, renewable and sustainable — exactly the type of project Cali Bamboo wants to promote.
Founded in 2004 by two friends, Jeff Goldberg and Tanner Haigwood, the company operates on the philosophy that a business can have a positive impact on the environment. The company sells only products made from renewable resources, and donates one percent of its revenue to environmental organizations.
As the website reads, “Cali Bamboo’s mission is to promote the use of bamboo as a new material for everyday products. It is our hope, that by providing alternative products made from renewable resources, we can make a difference in the future of our planet.”
Each month, Cali Bamboo hosts a contest, asking customers and those who visit its website to choose three “Project of the Month” winners from 12 candidates. Each of the projects displays innovation and a commitment to utilizing ecofriendly material. Additionally, all bamboo used must have been purchased from Cali Bamboo.
“(Since) I used bamboo and banana pulp,” said Hulbert, “everything is sustainable, everything is green. The bamboo wood is super dense, so you don’t get any unwanted vibrations, and they’re very lightweight.”
The design utilizes a single point source driver with a rear facing port to enhance the bass, and the speakers’ frequency response is tailored by a digital equalizer. The speakers are powered by a custom amplifier also constructed by Hulburt. Environmentally friendly, they produce a high-quality sound as well.
While Hulburt acknowledges, “bamboo is not cheap,” the reaction to his speakers has been overwhelmingly positive, and he sees a market in buyers who shop on sites like Etsy.
“They are a prototype (VSN 1.0) for a series of speakers that I’d eventually like to market,” said Hulburt. “So far, I’ve received a lot of interest in the final product, which is encouraging.”
If he wins one of the top three spots in the February contest, Hulburt will get anywhere from $100-$500 to spend at Cali Bamboo. He said he would use the funds to continue developing environmentally friendly, top audio quality home theater systems.
“Most speakers are plastic and made overseas,” he said. “These are more artisan speakers.”
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