As we as humans continue to evolve and consumerism continues to grow, the issues surrounding sustainability only get bigger and harder to tackle. Our behaviours, actions and attitudes are threatening the environmental stability of planet earth. Fortunately, society is becoming increasingly aware of our impact on the environment and more and more people are coming together to make a change for the better.
There are a number of ways to live a more sustainable lifestyle, but that doesn’t make the transition any easier. In this article, we are going to explore how cycling more can get us on the right track to living a more sustainable lifestyle.
It’s a no brainer that cycling is safer for the environment than driving as, unlike a car, cycling doesn’t give off any harmful greenhouse gases that contribute to pollution. On average in the UK, cars produce about 27% of the country’s total greenhouse gas emissions each and every year. What’s more, congestion caused by busy roads leads to increased levels of these greenhouse gases. If more people were to cycle, not only would traffic and congestion be reduced- so would the amount of carbon dioxide emissions.
One of our favourite things about cycling is that not only is it more sustainable than other modes of transport, but it is also a lot more affordable. Cars cost money to buy, to run and to fix, and that’s not to mention the cost of parking, road tax and insurance. Then there is the more eco-friendly option of travelling by electric-powered buses and trams, yet the cost of a journey on these can really add up if you use them daily. This is where cycling comes in.
When it comes to buying a bike, you don’t need to have a top of the range brand to get you from A to B. This means you can get a basic brand for a reasonable price or even buy a bike second hand. Moreover, you don’t have to worry about additional costs like insurance, fuel or parking. You may be thinking ‘what if my bike breaks?’, but not to worry, bicycle parts are significantly cheaper to repair and replace than car parts, even better is the fact that most repairs are possible to do yourself with the right guidance.
You can fit up to 15 bicycles in the same space a car would occupy
As mentioned, cycling is a great way to reduce traffic, this helps to make journeys faster for all. The reason why cycling reduces traffic is that bikes take up a lot less space on the road than a car does. Secondly, and more importantly, cycling is a great way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. To put into perspective, riding a bicycle accounts for only 21g of CO2 emissions, which is ten times less than a car produces. This means that the more people who switch from using a car to a bicycle, the less CO2 is released into the atmosphere.
It is 20 times cheaper to maintain a bicycle than a car
Cars are often described to be a money pit and it doesn’t matter whether you buy a new car or an old car, you can expect to spend money on it at some point in the future. Although a bike does need to be maintained and things can go wrong, a bicycle is much cheaper to maintain and what’s more is that you can maintain it yourself fairly easily.
There are some amazing resources out there nowadays meaning within minutes you can find a how-to guide, a video or an affordable course to teach you everything you need to know to fix or maintain your bike. One company that provides useful cycling maintenance tips, tricks and step by step guides is Cycle Maintenance Academy.
40% of all Amsterdam’s commutes are made on a bike
If you have ever been lucky enough to visit the stunning city of Amsterdam, it’s hard to miss the mounds of bicycles all over the city, stored in ‘car park’ style areas dedicated to parking up and securing your bicycle. It’s a well-known fact that in Amsterdam you have to look out for Bikes more than cars when crossing the road because they’re so agile they can seem to appear from nowhere. Remember to listen out for the ringing of a bicycle bell approaching warning you to stay or move out of their way.
Interestingly, Amsterdam is a particularly clean city, which makes us wonder if that 40% of commuters who travel by bike are really making a difference and the impact it could have if 40% of the global population were to commute via bicycle instead of by car.
The energy and resources used to create one single car can be used for the creation of up to 100 bicycles
Most of the facts that we’ve discussed so far have demonstrated that cycling is most definitely an environmentally friendly alternative that more of us should consider. Even more significant is the resources used in the production process of a car and how using that same amount of energy could be utilized to make 100 bicycles.
If you find cycling intimidating and aren’t too sure where to get started, there are plenty of videos and how-to guide online as well as beginners courses for cycle maintenance.
Cycle Maintenance Academy was set up by 3 avid cyclists with years of experience in the world of bicycle repairs and maintenance. Their shared vision was to make cycling more accessible to encourage more people to take up the sport and use it as an alternative method of transport. Their videos are simple to follow and cover all aspects of cycle maintenance from quick fixes to more complex repairs and everything in between.