In this era where pollution grows faster than trees, the planet needs humanity to make an effort to save the environment, even if it is a small and straightforward move like biking. Aside from its health benefits, there are also several environmental benefits of biking. Yes, getting around on two pedal-powered wheels can also benefit the environment.
All you need is your biking gadgets, multi-tool, spare tubes, and a tire pump, and you are on your way to making the world a greener and safer place to live. Here are some of the environmental advantages of this fun and sporty activity.
Minimize Air Pollution
The most substantial environmental benefit of biking is that it runs on manpower — literally. This means it has no toxic emissions.
The Washington Post stated that for the past two decades, the United States Energy Information Administration listed the transportation sector as the chief contributor to carbon dioxide emissions via direct fuel. This industry far exceeds other areas, including industrial, commercial, and residential. Moreover, in the US alone, about 89% of the trips made using cars lead to the most significant magnitude of pollution.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reported approximately 3.7 million premature deaths caused by outdoor air pollution. Aside from resulting in higher death rates, the high concentration of air pollution in urban areas also increases the risk of major illnesses, such as heart disease, cancer, and even birth defects.
Apart from walking, cycling for short-distance trips can significantly minimize air pollution. A study conducted by the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center revealed that up to 60% of pollutants produced by cars are emitted within the first several miles of travel. Hence, bikes are ideal for short-distance transit.
Fighting Against Global Warming
In addition to minimizing air pollution, another environmental benefit of biking is that it can fight climate change or global warming.
According to the WHO, the transportation industry is the primary source of greenhouse gas production, which is compound gases that trap heat and radiation, leading to a warmer atmosphere on earth.
Apart from raising the planet’s temperature, global warming also brings adverse effects by melting the ice on the poles, resulting in higher sea levels and exhausting resources for animals living on the glaciers.
Since an eco-friendly bike is powered solely by foot pedaling instead of fuel, the emission of greenhouse gas by vehicles can be reduced considerably.
Reduces Noise Pollution
Noise is an everyday environmental exposure in the US that has become underestimated. Noise or unwanted sound can disrupt the quality of life and cause health issues, including sleep disorders, heart defects, and even poor work and school performance.
The Environmental Protection Agency estimated that every year, almost 100 million people in the US become exposed to traffic noise that is high enough to harm their health. In an urban area, noise pollution is typically caused by congested streets and traffic due to poor planning and an excess of vehicles on the road.
Compared to the noisy cars and motorcycles with their loud honking and engine sounds, bikes are a much quieter alternative. Moreover, bicycles do not crowd the street. So the lack of noise pollution is just one more of the environmental benefits of biking.
Final Thoughts on the Environmental Benefits of Biking
A lot of your life choices can save or harm the environment, including your mode of transportation. Choosing bikes instead of cars to travel on a short-distance trip helps keep the environment cleaner by reducing air and noise pollution, as well as protecting the planet against climate change. Furthermore, biking can help you save money on pricey fuel. All you need to do is pack some snacks and a water bottle, and you’ll have all the fuel you need to get to your next destination by bicycle.