Bicycling is one of the most sustainable and beneficial forms of transportation. American car owners drive an average of 40 miles per day. If they rode a bike instead, they could save 14 gallons of gas (and a good bit of money) each week. They’d burn around 500 calories per hour while helping keep the air clean and the climate cool. Here’s how to be an earth-friendly cyclist:
BUY USED OR RECONDITIONED BIKES.
www.CheckRecycledCycles.net or www.eBay.com.
MAKE YOUR BIKE FIT YOUR LIFE.
Those who travel with bikes often or use public transportation might consider a bike that folds to a smaller size. www.MontagueCo.com offers a full-size folding bicycle; www.BikeFriday.com sells a small-wheel bike that folds to fit in a standard suitcase.
INCREASE YOUR WATTAGE.
If your one-way car commute is 10 miles or less, an electric bicycle will get you there in about the same amount of time. Electric bikes are everyday bicycles with an added battery-powered electric motor that you plug in to recharge; they’re perfect for a sweat-free trip to the workplace. WildernessEnergy.com sells electric bike conversion kits.
SWITCH TO PETROLEUM-FREE BICYCLE PRODUCTS.
Biodegradable degreasers and vegetable-based lubricants will keep your wheels turning. SoyClean.biz offers a soy-based multipurpose lubricant; www.Pedros.com offers a biodegradable degreaser made from citrus extracts.
SAVE BICYCLES FROM THE LANDFILL.
ResourceRevival.com recycles old bicycle parts into clocks, tables, picture frames and jewelry. For a list of more bike recycle programs, visit the International Bicycle Funds website, www.iBike.org.