Cycling and environment are words that often go hand in hand but is cycling one of the solutions to climate change? Just how good is cycling for the environment?
We’ll be answering those questions and more. Hopefully encouraging you to take to two wheels more often as there are lots of personal benefits of riding a bike.
Want to know what they are? Keep reading and we’ll tell you!
Climate Change vs Global Warming – Are They the Same Thing?
Both climate change and global warming are popular terms that are used often, but what’s the difference?
The term global warming is only referring to the Earth’s rising surface temperature.
Climate change is the rising temperature plus, the side effects. By side effects, we’re talking heavier rainstorms, worse droughts, and of course, melting glaciers.
Basically, global warming is a symptom of the larger problem that humans are causing, through pollution, animal agriculture, deforestation, fossil fuel use, and so on.
5 Ways Cycling Can Help Protect the Environment
Reduces Air Pollution
When we talk about air pollution, it’s the small particles, chemicals, and gases that get released into the air.
When you use a form of motorized transport, it contributes to air pollution as it’s using fossil fuels.
This impacts our health and the health of the planet.
As an example, heat gets trapped in our atmosphere by CO2. This causes climate change and the temperature of our atmosphere to rise. The result is that the earth is becoming a more inhospitable place to live for humans and other animals.
When you choose to cycle instead of using a car, this is helping to reduce air pollution.
More Green Spaces Needed
As more people choose to cycle, we will need more traffic-free spaces.
Many of these spaces can be green spaces. Think trees, wildlife, and plants.
All of this is important for our planet as trees and plants help to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in our air.
As a result, this reduces our carbon emission levels and gives us cleaner air.
Biodiversity is the number of different types of plants and animals living in an area.
It’s good and necessary to have high levels of biodiversity as it helps to produce a healthy ecosystem.
Switching to cycling helps to slow down climate change. This means that it helps to protect biodiversity.
Reduce Noise Pollution
What we mean by noise pollution is unwanted sounds that cause disturbances to our health and that of animals.
It has been shown that noise pollution does affect the lives of local wildlife.
Animals have to adjust to noise pollution, which usually means they have to find new places to live. This affects our whole environment.
The less noise from traffic, the less noise pollution, and the better it is for humans and other animals!
Inspires Us to Change
As we all know, cycling is good for our physical health, boosts our mood, and can save us money (unless you have a cycling kit addiction).
When you start to cycle more, you start to notice the difference you’re making in the world.
More people see you cycling and become inclined to take it up themselves and so the positive circle continues!
Benefits of Riding a Bike
I think we all know that riding a bike is good for us but do we truly understand all of the benefits of riding a bike?
Let’s start with a big one, cycling is great for your mental health! There’s no denying that for many people recent years have been very tough—well, cycling can help with that.
Don’t believe me? Check out this study.
Cycling is an efficient way to commute. Sitting in traffic is a waste of time and you could be using that time to get in a bit of exercise. Around 50% of work commutes are actually less than three miles long. This can be easily done on a bike.
Cycling is easy on your joints. When you compare cycling to running, it’s much easier on your joints.
Going for a ride is a low-impact exercise and isn’t weight-bearing. This all means that you’re less likely to pick up an injury on your bike than you are when you’re running.
Learn more: Benefits Of Riding A Bike
How Cycling Improves Health and Promotes Sustainability
Cycling is a fantastic sport to get into, even if you don’t see it as a sport.
For one, it can help you sleep better. A study has found that there is a correlation between sleep quality and cardiorespiratory fitness. So yeah, tire yourself out on the bike and you’ll enjoy a good night’s sleep!
It is relatively well known that exercising can reduce your risk of developing different forms of cancer. However, a recent study has shown that riding your bike to work for at least 30 minutes a day can potentially reduce your risk of developing cancer by up to 50%.
Cycling regularly helps build healthy habits in your life. Once you start to see the impact that cycling is having on your life (a positive one!) then you tend to want to keep that going, or even improve on that.
This could be eating more healthily and taking into account your carbon footprint when choosing what to eat. Or simply reducing the number of journeys you make by car. It all helps!
Riding bikes is good for the earth as it reduces air pollution. When people choose to ride a bike instead of driving a car, they are choosing not to release any harmful gases into our environment.
Cycling also reduces the need for roads and freeways. This makes way for more green spaces and less concrete!
When you take into account the fact the bike has to be built, which produces emissions, and the rider has to fuel themselves to ride. There are still emissions to take into account.
However, even when you compare this to electric cars, using your bike has about one-quarter of the carbon footprint per kilometer traveled.
So overall, cycling is still the best option for the environment.
Cycling is seen as a positive for the environment but there are aspects where it isn’t 100% green. For example, there is a carbon footprint when it comes to manufacturing bikes. Sure, this is a lot less than manufacturing a car but there are still some emissions to it.
Then you have to look at how much we recycle bike parts. Helmets for example are extremely difficult to recycle and often end up as waste. Manufacturers are responding to this and creating more eco-friendly ones so we are headed in the right direction.
That being said, cycling is still the most eco-friendly way to travel and one of the potential solutions to climate change.
Can Cycling Help Save the Environment?
When you consider different modes of transport, there aren’t any ‘greener’ options than cycling.
Let’s be honest, the environmental benefits of cycling outweigh the disadvantages you can think of.
So whenever you cycle, whether that’s to work, school, running errands, or simply just because you can—it all helps to save the environment in some way.
If you aren’t currently cycling and are weighing up options for reducing your carbon footprint or just living a healthier lifestyle, then cycling is a superb place to start!