Many of us think of biking as an activity enjoyed by kids in the years before they can drive. But as adults, it is easy to forget the numerous benefits cycling can provide our health, community and especially the environment. April 22 is Earth Day, and all of us at Hupy and Abraham wanted to share some of the great reasons that cycling can improve both our lives, and the planet!
How Does Cycling Benefit the Environment?
- Bikes use no fuel.
- Bikes take a lot less energy to build than a car.
- Bikes do not require toxic batteries or motor oil.
- Biking saves individuals and communities money on healthcare, insurance, fuel and other environmental costs.
For example, if 20 percent of Milwaukee commuters biked to work, it would save 40,718 tons of carbon dioxide emissions. That is a value of $821,282, according to a 2010 study.
Simply using a bike to commute to and from work significantly reduces the amount of pollution generated, and is less stressful than sitting in traffic. Additionally, short car trips waste more fuel and create more pollutants than long car trips, so bicycling to the store or on small errands will save you gas, money and reduce the amount of day-to-day traffic.
So, why don’t more people cycle?
Many people cite their reason for not biking is that they often do not feel safe, which is not unfounded. Bicycle accidents often occur in busy cities that lack bicycle lanes and other cycle-friendly spaces. However, when more members of a community speak up and make it clear they would like to make cycling a larger part of the city’s infrastructure, those communities become healthier, safer and more pedestrian friendly!
Here are a few tips for cyclists to remember:
- Ride in a straight line.
- Watch for car doors.
- Look and signal before turning
- Remain attentive. Don’t obstruct your hearing with headphones.
- Protect your head.
- Wear bright-colored, reflective clothing
- Equip your bike with the required reflectors and lights when riding at night.