Cycling is a hugely popular activity in the U.S. — with 100 million Americans biking every year according to research conducted by the Breakaway Group for People for Bikes. As is the case with many other modern hobbies, more people are seeking to enjoy life while simultaneously lowering their carbon footprint. The BSR/GlobeScan State of Sustainable Business Survey has shown that environmental friendliness is a major priority for millennials in everything from the pastimes they choose to the companies they wish to join. If you are a keen cyclist who would like to make an impact on the planet’s wellbeing, it’s wise to adopt several sustainable cycling habits.
Choosing a Green Bike
Just a few things to watch out for when buying a sustainable bike include opting for aluminum (as opposed to carbon) frames. Currently, it is nearly impossible to find a bike made with recycled aluminum. However, even if your bike is made of new aluminum, you can always take the body to an aluminum recycling plant so it can give new life to new products. If you are into sports-inspired décor, you could simply give your old bike a new paint job and utilize it as decoration. Plus, vintage bikes look great hanging on brick walls of urban, brick-laid interiors.
Being Kind to Nature
Among the many types of biking that exist, arguably the most ‘zen-like’ and thrilling is mountain biking. Recent research by the University of East Anglia has found that spending time in nature reduces stress, blood pressure, and heart rates. In particular, it reduces levels of salivary cortisol — astress hormone which, when chronically present, is linked to heart disease and obesity.
When you enjoy your favorite sport in the Great Outdoors, you obtain so many benefits. Why not give something back by cycling on a powerful mountain bike that will last you many years, so you don’t need to replace it and create a bigger carbon footprint? Features to look out for include the use of light aluminum, optimal suspension (for durability), and easy adjustment of seat height – so the bike can adapt to growth changes.
Wearing Sustainable Workout Gear
When cycling, look out for labels such as Oekotex and Bluesign; the former stipulates guidelines for the use of chemicals in textile production, and the latter covers the supply chain for the use of chemicals in textiles. Also, opt for sustainable brands with a passion for halting climate change. Just a few eco-friendly brands include Freitag (which sells recycled and upcycled bags made from old truck tarpaulins), Super Vision (which uses sustainably made materials), and Cycled (which makes accessories out of disposable bike parts). Think of where your products are coming from, and try to rely more on local suppliers that put eco-friendliness at the center of their activities.
Cycling is the greenest form of transport on the planet. It allows you to get from Point A to B quickly without relying on external energy. To make your favorite hobby even more sustainable, choose a bike whose design will last a lifetime, buy environmentally-friendly clothing and accessories, and opt for materials which you can recycle or upcycle.