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Biking for Short Trips Saves More than CO2 Emissions

Have you every wondered how much waste is created through the high volume of vehicle use? With over 290 million vehicles registered (in America alone) there is bound to be some sort-of negative effect on our planet, right?

Correct! It is a troublesome thought for the future of life as we know it on planet Earth.

Although safety implementations are required to slow the harmful emissions from car engines - such as nitrous oxide - the improvement levels still are not zero. CO2, nitrous oxide, and other harmful pollutants such as microplastics and brake pad dust are released into our atmosphere and oceans.

When there is too much CO2 emitted, it gets trapped in the atmospheric bubble that surrounds Earth. When this happens, heat from the sun then gets trapped and in turn raises temperatures on Earth which threatens to alter climates and change land use.

So why are we still relying on the use of vehicles so much? Approximately 46% of vehicle trips around the world are less than 3 miles, and 60% are less than 5 miles. For such a short distance, humans are operating machines that utilize very high amounts of energy to move the car which can often range from 3,000-5,000 pounds. The question then becomes - why are we focusing on operating such a huge machine when we should really be focused on moving a person which, on average, would only require the energy to move 160 pounds?

Lets break it down:

  • For short trips that are often less than 5 miles, we are emitting harmful gases into the atmosphere, which in turn poses a threat to human life and can cause detrimental climate change.

  • Vehicle usage creates waste that we aren't aware of, which is then transferred to pollutants in our oceans.

  • Vehicle use requires extreme amounts of energy and material to operate, when we often need to transport a very light amount of weight, a very short distance.

These facts are unnerving. At least, they should be!

We need to take into consideration that our daily actions, such as operating a vehicle, can truly affect our future in a negative manner. With small changes, like commuting via eBike, we can improve our options for future life spans on Earth, become healthy, and enjoy our day-to-day errands. "For short trips with small cargo, vehicles are excessive for the task." We can also save money.

When you break down the costs of operating a vehicle versus an eBike, the amount you save is significant!

So what are you waiting for? Making the switch to an eBike today. Happy commuting!

See the below article for more in depth explanations of the points discussed in this blog.

Author: Patrick Burton - Executive Committee of Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter

More Than CO2
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