Hi all, I’ve really appreciated seeing more of a focus on sustainability in cycling here, and reading Dave Rome’s article on his five things he’d like the industry to do got me thinking about things we could do as consumers to make cycling more sustainable. So, I thought I would present a few of my own ideas to get things started, and see what other people have as well.
Since this is the internet, I should caveat that I don’t think you’re a bad person if you don’t do these things, etc. etc.
Buy more used bikes. I hear the guys on the podcast talk a lot about how many new industry innovations aren’t particularly useful. They are expensive, both from a financial perspective, as well as from an environmental one. Producing a new bike involves shipping raw materials around the world, likely laying up or welding a frame in a different place than the materials are produced, shipping that frame to an assembly shop, and then shipping the final product around the world. Buying a used bike locally saves a lot of shipping and production emissions, and probably isn’t that much worse than the new version.
Buy fewer bikes. I’m already at fault here, since I have two bikes (my wife has zero, so it averages out, right?), but having more bikes than we can use contributes to the shipping and manufacturing emissions and waste mentioned above. I certainly don’t begrudge someone buying their dream bike(s), but maybe sell the bikes you aren’t riding any more, so that someone who needs a bike doesn’t have to buy a new one.
Prep your own riding snacks. This one is smaller than the other two, but it always bothers me when I buy gels or other sports-specific foods and they come in single-use packaging. I try to remember to make myself sandwiches or granola squares and put them in tupperware or packaging I can reuse. It’s not going to change the world, but it does lead to less trash, and saves me money, so that’s a bonus.
What about other people? Are there some sustainability in cycling ideas you have that I can apply in my own life, or that we can work on together as a cycling community?