Love Your Bike: Love Your City
Cycling is one of the most environmentally friendly means of transport. Bike riding uses minimal fossil fuels and is a pollution-free mode of transport that is more energy efficient and less resource consuming than travelling by car. By switching your car journeys to cycling, evev partially, you are reducing the emissions that are so harmful to our atmosphere. Bikes also reduce the need to build, service and dispose of cars and do not make as much noise as other transport.
Did you know?
- Bicycle use has been falling steadily since the 1970s, despite the fact that more of us than ever own bicycles!
- The energy efficiency of cycling is estimated to be the equivalent of a car doing 1600 miles on a gallon of petrol!
- In the UK, an average car produces approximately 3.3 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year Cycling contributes zero to green house gas emissions.
- Bikes save space – you can park ten bicycles in the space required for one car.
- At least half of all car journeys in Britain are short enough to be cycled. If they were, car mileage would be reduced by one sixth.
- The amount of steel and other materials in bicycle construction is less than 2 % of that found in a small car.
- The energy required for car manufacture, transport and storage is approximately 2 orders of magnitude greater than that of bicycles.
Love your planet
By far the greatest environmental benefit of cycling is that they bypass the fossil fuel system that contributes so much to major environmental problems such as climate change, the greenhouse effect and localized air pollution.
Motor vehicles emit carbon dioxide and other harmful materials that not only contribute to air pollution, which impacts on the health of people and the environment, but which are major contributors to the greenhouse effect and its impacts on climate change. Their manufacture, transportation and storage also use significant amounts of energy and emit harmful substances into our atmosphere. Bicycles emit none of these and the manufacturing process uses approximately 2 orders of magnitude less energy.
Car and truck air-conditioning units emit significant amounts of chloro-fluorocarbons (CFCs) into the atmosphere which contribute to the greenhouse effect. CFCs also destroy the stratospheric ozone layer, there-by exposing Earth to excess levels of ultraviolet radiation. In contrast, cyclists don’t use artificial air-conditioning – they just ride faster.
Cycling instead of travelling by car helps the environment by saving huge amounts of energy and greenhouse gas emissions each year. Also, as traffic delays and interruptions to traffic flow in cities account for millions of tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions each year, cycling during peak hours would contribute to further emission reductions by reducing congestion and improving traffic flow.
Government’s around the world are now having to face the impacts of excessive greenhouse gas emissions and realising that a switch to more sustainable modes of transport, such as cycling, is needed to help save the environment. You can play your part by jumping on your bike instead of into your car.
Love your space and wildlife
Basically cycling doesn’t take up much space in our environment. You can park 10 bicycles in the same space as one car and there is no need for large car parks to be built. It also requires far less physical road/pavement space per traveller than cars and trucks. Therefore, the environmental benefits of more bikes and fewer cars is reduction in the loss of open space, conversion of farm land and destruction of wildlife habitat for building and maintaining large road networks and producing and disposing of motor vehicles. Another benefit is the elimination of large scale water and flood mitigation works associated with road networks. Cycling also adds little to nothing to road congestion, an important point as vehicle use increasingly exceeds roadway capacity, causing chronic congestion.
More bikes and fewer cars in our environment would also have a positive impact on landfill and waste depositories. Approximately 10 million car and truck chassis and 250 million tyres are dumped into the environment each year, with little recycling of materials. In comparison, worn out bicycles and parts, some of which are recycled in many areas, require significantly less space for their disposal.
Love your serenity
Bicycles are the quietest form of transport. Motorised road transport is a major source of noise in the environment, while cycling is virtually silent. Roadway traffic generates noise through a variety of mechanical and physical processes, including tires moving over pavement, engine exhaust, operation of engines and related equipment, friction of brake shoes on drums or discs, operation of air brakes, and horns and alarms. Noise pollution is a serious environmental issue with substantial time, effort and money spent by authorities on protecting yours and the environment’s ‘ears’. Jump on your bike instead of into your car and you will help to reduce noise pollution and make your community a more peaceful place to be.
Love your aquatic wildlife
Cycling instead of travelling by car also has benefits for the environment by contributing substantially less to water pollution and impacts on aquatic wildlife. Drilling, shipping, and storing oil for use in the motor industry poses significant environmental risks and threats to wildlife. The large amounts of oil and petrol routinely leaked and poured into sewers and seeping into groundwater is another environmental impact causing the destruction of river health and impacting heavily on many aquatic plants and animals. You can help protect our aquatic wildlife by cycling.
(Page last updated 17th February, 2011 17:45)