The WCD is celebrated on Sep 17 annually, as the number “917” is the Chinese homonym of “Just Cycle”. On this day, the organizers appeal and advocate that citizens should pay close attention to cities’ sustainable development; take actions to reduce traffic congestion and air pollution by cycling instead of driving; feel and love the cities through riding bicycles, and make the cities a better place.
In honour of this beautiful cause, here are some reasons why you should opt for cycling in the city as well!
Cycling has a major role to play in any sustainable transport strategy. It helps to reduce congestion and local air pollution, as well as the emissions that cause climate change. 23% of car trips are less than 2 miles, a distance that is easily cycled in less than 15 minutes.Many people use cars a couple of times per day. More precisely, we get in our car at least two times – when we go to work and when we need to get back home. If we’re picking up kids from school or make a detour to the grocery store, that number can be significantly larger. These short trips, when the engine is warming up, are causing the most pollution. If people choose to make some of those trips by bike, we could have a considerable impact on local congestion and pollution. Encouraging more people onto their bikes also means more opportunities for exercise and a fitter, healthier nation. The more cars we can get off the road, the better it will be for the environment. Cycling requires no gasoline and, therefore, no harmful vehicle emissions or smog are released into the air when a person is riding his or her bicycle. Opting to use your bicycle a few times a week, instead of your car, is one of the simplest ways to lower your environmental footprint. Idling isn’t an issue when you are cycling. Noise pollution is reduced as well. Bicycles require no gasoline, no antifreeze and don’t need many of the other fluids vehicles need to operate. This helps ensure such fluids don’t make their way into local waterways or the environment itself.
Bike riding, on the other hand, uses minimal fossil fuels. This means riding your bike offers a pollution-free mode of transport. If you replace a car with a bike each time you go to work, you will save approximately 3000 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions each year.
Imagine that each person on this planet does the same thing? That would be a major environmental change!
Same goes to reducing oil usage. Did you know that, in 2019 alone, the United States consumed around 20.5 million barrels of oil per day? The two most common types of oil used are – diesel and gas.
Also, a moderate increase in bicycle use each year could save an estimated 6 to 14 million tons of CO2. 14,000 pounds of carbon are produced in the manufacture of each motor vehicle. By comparison, a graduate student at MIT recently estimated that manufacturing an average bicycle results in the emission of approximately 530 pounds of greenhouse gases.
Bike riders can make a great contribution to the reduction of petroleum consumption. Logically, the entire planet Earth would benefit from this.
As a car driver, you’ve probably faced the struggle of traffic jams and filled parking lots. You start to lose your nerves and more often we are near some sort of accident.
So here’s another great thing bicycles can solve – the number of accidents would likely reduce because drivers won’t be as impatient.
Bicycles also reduce the need for clearing land for parking lots. For every one car parking space, 6-15 bikes can fit easily. The asphalt, roadway tars and other chemicals poured to make parking lots also release pollutants into the air and groundwater.
The removal of trees and complementary vegetation for parking spaces eliminates vital air cleaners that help reduce the quantity of carbon dioxide in the air.
Because bikes use much less rubber and lubricants than other forms of transportation like cars and buses, they can help reduce deforestation. Each year the huge amount of rubber and lubricants used in cars clears thousands and thousands of acres of forests for rubber plantations.
Metals used to produce vehicles must often be mined from the earth, which can devastate landscapes and cause more deforestation. Pollution also enters the atmosphere through the extraction of these raw materials.
Contamination of water sources is one of the most serious results of mining. Even small-scale mining can leave landscapes barren of vegetation for years, contributing to global warming by removing trees that clean the atmosphere.
We’ve covered all the mental and physical health benefits in our previous blog posts, but it’s clear cycling not only helps the environment, but is pretty awesome as a hobby itself. And clearly, we can’t switch hundred-percently to cycling in one day, but replacing one short car drive with a bike ride can be a great start with reducing your carbon footprints!
There are countless reasons why riding a bike is a healthy and environmentally friendly activity – it is also a lot more affordable than driving a car, so we hope this blog motivates you to choose cycling the next time you want to get to a supermarket!