How can we cyclists be more green?
One can easily go down a lot of rabbit holes (me while researching this article for example) while trying to be more green but by starting small and with a few relatively simple changes, you can make a positive impact to your environmental footprint.
The choices we make when looking at clothing can make a big difference to our carbon footprint. Below are some of the potential choices you can make to be a bit greener.
British clothing and accessory brand, Endura, have a commitment to sustainability and below are some of the ways they are doing this.
- One Million Trees’ initiative where Endura committed to planting one million trees over 10 years in order to become CO2 negative by 2024.
- Increasing the use of recycled polyester and nylon in their clothing and accessory range keeps waste from landfill and reduces CO2 emissions as recycling these materials uses less energy than producing them from new.
- PFC and PTFE free – PFC and PTFE are commonly found in the waterproof clothing and the water repellency treatment of clothing. These chemicals break down very slowly and have a hazardous effect on the environment. By going PFC and PTFE free, it is significantly reducing harmful chemicals being released into the environment.
- Biodegradable proofers – for when you have to refresh the water repellency of your garment.
Clothing choices generally
When looking at buying new cycling clothes, not all clothes are made equal. It is worth looking to the slightly higher price point as you will generally get a more robust garment that will last the time of three lesser quality garments thereby reducing the amount of waste. This strategy will usually save you money in the long term also.
Choices When Cleaning your bike
Importance of cleaning
It’s a dirty job but everyone’s got to do it. It is a hard thing to stay on top of but if you keep your chain and cassette clean it will mean you have to replace these parts less and will have less wastage. A clean chain and cassette will make you more efficient also so you’ll use less energy between A and B and will require you to eat less for fuel saving you money and use less resources (yes, we know this last one is minor but is definitely a thing)
Choice of cleaning product
Muc-Off have a biodegradable chain cleaner and a biodegradable degreaser available for cleaning your chain and cassette and for lubrication, the wet and dry lubricants are biodegradable also.
Other ways to be more green
Repair your inner tubes – Inner tubes contain Butyl which is exceptionally hard to break down so by repairing your tubes you are keeping tubes out of landfill. If you carry a spare when you are out, you can replace the full tube on your ride and repair the other tube when you get home, so you don’t have to faff about by the side of the road. It is also very energy intensive to make the butyl which is in inner tubes.
Recycle tubes another way
‘If you do feel that your inner tube is finished, you can drop these old tubes off at any of our stores and we will give these to Changeworks.org.uk for recycling.
Donate unused bikes to bicycle recycling companies
Bikestation will accept unused bikes and turn the usable parts into bikes that can then be re-used. You can leave pre-loved bikes with us and we will pass them on to Bikestation for recycling.
Replace more car journeys with your bike
We had to put this one in! In 2020, 25% of car journeys were less than 1 mile (according to the National Travel Survey 2020). Are there any of these drives you can replace with your bike? With the cost of petrol and diesel being what it is, replacing more journeys with your bike will save you even more money as well as the environment.