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Recycling While Cycling: Let’s Be Nice to Mother Earth

By Tereza Antonová

Riding a bike itself is sustainable – no pollution, no noise, saved space in urban areas. But what if you want more? The planet has already paid quite the price for its reckless inhabitants, so maybe we could take the eco-friendliness of riding a step further.

A sustainable bike

Acquiring a bicycle one could call 100 % sustainable is yet impossible. But there are some ways to come near it. First of all, if you’re not a regular rider and your hometown provides it, you might consider bike sharing. When it comes to buying your own and trying to be sustainable about it, the first thing that pops into mind is thinking about the materials and their environmental footprint. Aluminium is said to be one of the most environmentally damaging materials to source which would imply steel is the answer.

However, there are not many hard data on the environmental impact of steel and aluminium production for bicycles. We’re left a bit in the dark here. Nonetheless, what we can definitely do is to care about the lifespan. A robust frame is the base of being at least a little green about cycling (as it’ll last longer and you won’t have to buy a new one). Also, it’s important to realize a well-built second-hand bicycle will stick around longer than a cheap new one. By finding your local DIY workshop and getting a long-lasting recycled bike partner, you are doing a little something not to put another load on Mother Earth.

If you’re searching for a real alternative, you might go for a bamboo bike. That one you can even build on your own.

Making your gear green

Get yourself a reusable flask. Explore fair trade and ethical sportswear brands. Not only you’ll be saving the Earth, but with ethical fair trade wear, you’ll also support its inhabitants. If you want to take it to a higher level, go for brands that recycle materials like rescued fishing nets.

Speaking about covering your body: your safety can be green as well. One doesn’t buy a helmet that often, but as it’s a single-use product, it’s good to put a little thought into buying it. There’s been some talk about wooden bio-degradable helmets but, at the moment, the market isn’t swamped with them. What you can find, though, are helmets made of recycled plastic cups.

Foldable helmet made of recycled cups. © LID Helmets

Relieving the planet from all the mess we’ve created is certainly a thing to do. If you have the option, maybe you could make a bike trip to the coast and volunteer as an ocean cleaner. Eating less meat or at best none is said to be the green thing to do as well. Not throwing waste around is definitely something to follow (not to be momma-like but it’s surprising how many people do not think this is important). Missing anything you think we should share? Leave us a comment with your tips on being more sustainable.

CLOTHES: Howies, Girlfriend Collective, GRN, Picture Organic Clothing

GEAR: Urge, LID Helmets, Kleankanteen