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As discussions around climate change and sustainability grow louder, cycling emerges as not just a fitness trend, but a much-needed solution for environmental problems.
But while ‘cycling’ is often broadly painted as a green mode of transport, here we’ll explore the real environmental benefits of riding a bicycle and the numbers behind them.
Cycling Environmental Benefits
This article will delve into the multiple environmental benefits of cycling, backed by facts and figures produced by an in-depth report from ECF (European Cyclists’ Federation).
Here are the six most pertinent cycling benefits for the environment from that report.
1. Cycling Reduces Carbon Footprint
Cycling saves more than 16 million tons of CO2 equivalents per year in the European Union. To put that into perspective, that’s equivalent to the total yearly CO2 emissions of a country like Croatia.
2. Cycling Helps Improve Air Quality
With fewer emissions than cars, cycling contributes significantly to cleaner air. The value of reduced air pollution due to cycling is estimated at €435 million. Considering air pollution causes around 400,000 premature deaths per year in Europe, that’s a big win.
3. Cycling Reduces Noise Pollution
Cycling also has the benefit of being quiet. This helps reduce noise pollution, which is significant considering that road traffic noise causes nearly 8,900 premature deaths and almost 800,000 additional cases of hypertension per year in Europe. The estimated savings from reduced noise pollution due to cycling is around €300 million.
4. Cycling Saves Fuel
Cycling saves more than 3 billion liters of fuel per year in the EU, which translates to nearly €4 billion in savings. This amount is comparable to the annual fuel consumption for road transport in a country like Ireland.
5. Growing Bicycle Market
The bicycle market is booming, valued at €13.2 billion in 2016 and expected to grow at an annual rate of 5.5% until 2022. This trend indicates that more people are taking up cycling, further contributing to environmental benefits.
6. Cargo Bikes and Sustainable Logistics
Cargo bikes are making a statement in urban logistics. They could replace up to 25% of commercial deliveries and 77% of private logistics trips in urban areas, making cities more sustainable.
A Ride Towards a Greener Future
The environmental benefits of cycling are compelling, offering a viable solution to several environmental issues we face today. Whether it’s reducing emissions, saving fuel, or cutting down on noise pollution, cycling offers a multifaceted approach to environmental sustainability.
With this kind of positive impact, it’s time we shift gears and ride more responsibly, not just for our health or convenience, but for the planet we call home.
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