If you’re environmentally friendly, you’re already aware of the dangers of cars, fossil fuels, and the negative impact that they can have on our environment. Burning fossil fuels results in carbon dioxide and other harmful chemicals being released into the environment. Not only are we breathing these chemicals in, but burning fossil fuels also negatively impact global warming.
This is why many people are starting to look for alternatives to driving cars that require gasoline. Electric cars, such as Tesla, are increasing in popularity and are more environmentally friendly. Other alternatives include walking, scooters, and bike commuting.
Bike commuting is exactly what it sounds like — you ride your bike to and from work! There’s a possibility you already know about the health benefits of cycling, such as the fact it keeps your heart healthy and can help you maintain a good weight. However, depending on how close you live to your work and how physically fit you are, bike commuting could be another way to cut down on the burning of fossil fuels.
So, how does riding your bike to work benefit the environment?
No fossil fuels used
Bikes require no gasoline, which means riding a bike doesn’t require fossil fuel! Bikes convert your energy and movement into kinetic energy, which allows for the bike to move without gas.
This helps cut down on carbon dioxide emissions. While one person riding a bike might not seem that significant to you, keep in mind that it is one way you can reduce your own contributions to global warming.
Plus, if more and more people begin biking, that more significantly cuts down on carbon dioxide emissions and you become one of many! Ultimately, reducing carbon dioxide emissions can help fight climate change.
While many other steps will need to be taken to stop the global temperature from rising, bike cycling is one of the recommended ways.
Cars don’t just produce carbon dioxide, they produce other harmful chemicals and pollutants. And when cars get stuck in traffic and idle, these harmful fumes escape into the environment, leading to smog.
Smog creates a visible haze. Not only is it bad for us to breathe in, but it also harms the environment. For example, if it becomes thick enough, it can block sunlight and inhibit plant growth. Bikes don’t produce pollutants, therefore effectively reducing smog!
Keeps water clean
It is also important to note that the fluids from cars often end up making their way into water supply sources. Cars leak fluids such as antifreeze, brake oil, and motor oil. These fluids are toxic and contribute to water pollution.
Water pollution occurs when contaminants, such as car fluids, are introduced to water. Car fluids end up sticking to the pavement, then getting washed into rivers, sewage drains, and other water sources when it rains. While you might occasionally oil your bike chain, this is far less oil than you would need to keep a car running successfully.
Fewer industry materials used
Consider how many industry materials are needed to produce a car versus a bike. All of these materials have to come from somewhere and producing materials releases pollutants into the air.
While bikes do require manufacturing, their manufacturing process isn’t as environmentally harmful as manufacturing a car. This is because bikes are smaller.
While producing a bike does produce some greenhouse gases, bicycles are still ultimately more eco-friendly to use and maintain than a car.
No toxic batteries required
Another way bicycles benefit the environment is that they don’t require the same batteries that cars do. Cars require batteries such as nickel-metal hydride batteries, which require nickel mining to produce.
Keep in mind that nickel mining produces air pollution. Not to mention, car batteries need to be replaced every few years. Those old batteries are toxic and hazardous to dispose of, plus they cannot be recycled. Commuting on a bike means fewer batteries are needed.
Noise pollution reduced
Noise pollution is also harmful to the environment because it can negatively impact the health and well-being of wildlife. Small changes to animal behavior can end up disrupting ecosystems.
Not to mention, noise pollution can lead to physiological and psychological health problems in humans as well!
Traffic contributes heavily to noise pollution. Bikes, however, are almost silent, especially when well-maintained. Riding a bike through a neighborhood is far less likely to disturb someone than driving a car down the street.
Keep in mind that certain types of bikes are recommended for certain situations. Visit a site such as Wheloo for tips on finding the right type of bike for you and for tips on maintaining a bike.
Another way bike commuting helps the environment is that you’re far less likely to kill or injure an animal. So many people end up accidentally hitting animals of all sizes when traveling by car, which results in wildlife dying.
While it is still possible to hit and kill an animal on a bike, you’re far more likely to be able to swerve and miss. Not to mention, most people bike at speeds that cause less harmful collisions.
There’s no doubt about it — bike commuting is much more environmentally-friendly than traveling by car! If you want to reduce your carbon footprint, this is one way to do it. Not to mention, you might find that you prefer bike commuting to driving your car or relying on public transportation!
Many people find that they’re able to save money while bike commuting since they’re only paying for bike maintenance on occasion, which is inexpensive compared to car maintenance and gas.
Plus, riding a bike can shorten commute times in busy cities, since it is easy to maneuver a bike through heavy traffic, allowing you to get where you need to be in a more timely manner.
And when others see you traveling to work by bike, they might ask you why you don’t drive instead. This allows you to educate others about the benefits of bike commuting and how it can help the environment!