Did you noticed that anyone has the possibility, at any level to do something extraordinary for the planet?
As a musician, you can donate part of the money from concerts for preserving wild places.
As a child you can volunteer for planting trees or cleaning the natural areas, as movie star you can be the voice through which some of the most important natural causes get to the public and so on.
We, as cyclists, can do much more than we think only by biking.
A new book, How Cycling Can Save The World, argues that from improving public health to mitigating climate change, replacing cars with bikes could have an exceptionally large impact on the health of the planet.
The most comprehensive study on the benefits of cycling, Walker says, tracked 30,000 Danes over the course of 15 years; the researchers found that just biking to work decreased risk of mortality within that time frame by approximately 40%. From eradicating health concerns linked to inactivity, to mitigating climate change, to boosting local economies and building community, biking, Walker says, is an integral part of the solution.
With the U.S. spewing 6 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the air last year – one-quarter of the world total – if we only cut it to half, could you imagine how magnificent improvement?
However, bicycles are a major and practical form of transportation for hundreds of millions, and it could be for billions.
One-third of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions are from motorized transport, yet half of all car trips are just 5 km or less.
Such a distance takes only 15 minutes on a bike. Of course, cycling may not be the best option for every trip or by everyone. But if we improve the availability of bicycles and the facilities to support safe cycling, then they could offer a zero-carbon alternative to the car. It would also save us from billions of tons of CO2 emissions in the coming decades.
1. Reduce carbon emissions.
If you choose to ride your bike to work just one day a week, you can reduce your contribution to CO2 global warming by 20% annually.
2. Less roadways, more forests.
2. Less roadways, more forests.
To have a reasonable traffic, once the car number grows higher and higher, we need more roadways and space for everybody.
Can you imagine that even if you choose once in a while the bike instead of the car, the existing roads will be enough?
While you may not be ready to trade in your car, every day you stay off the roadway reduces the need for your space. If others also choose to bicycle some days, cumulatively there is less need for our ever expanding highway system. That means more trees, more open space, and less resources needed to build the roads.
3. Improve air quality
The Environmental Protection Agency, a great source for green facts, reports that transportation accounts for 33% of CO2 emissions in America, with more than half of that coming from cars. Billions of tons of poisonous gases are released into the air causing the air to be extremely polluted. Bicycling is a zero emissions way to get from place to place, as a cyclist, you will definitely appreciate clean air.
4. Decrease the production of new cars
You know motor vehicles use energy to propel themselves, but it also takes energy to manufacture vehicles and transport them from the factory to the consumer. Depending on how you calculate it, between 70 and 100 bicycles can be built with the resources required to build one car.
5. Reduce landfill waste.
If you bicycle more, you will create less wear and tear on your car, which means you can keep it on the road (or in your garage when you’re biking) longer and reduce your contribution to the landfill. One of the encouraging green facts is that 75% of the parts of a car are recyclable, but Argonne National Labs estimates there are still at least 3 million tons of non-recyclable shredder residue head to landfills each year.