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This is the environmental impact generated by bicycles

This is the environmental impact generated by bicycles

One of the most remarkable aspects of cycling is its impact on the environment. Bicycles do not emit greenhouse gases during use, which makes them an ideal transport solution to reduce air pollution in large cities. In addition, they barely generate noise pollution and their impact on the wear of the surface where it passes, whether the asphalt of a street or a forest road, it is minimal. There are no doubt, no other vehicle has a better environmental reputation like the bicycle. However, it is not true that a bicycle does not issue any polluting emission. Like any other industrial product, to know its carbon footprint, it is not enough the distribution and management of their waste. And that is what we have done in Tuvalum. Within our commitment to lead the sustainability of the bicycle industry we have measured the role that bicycles can play in the fight against climate change. For this we have relied on various scientific studies and reports related to mobility, the impact of the different means of transport and industrial manufacturing processes. We have even taken into account the energy expenditure of the cyclist while moving by bike!
One of the best decisions you can make as a personal initiative to combat climate change is to get on the bicycle. Even better if it is a reconditioned second -hand bike.
Do you want to know what is the real carbon footprint of a bicycle?

The more you use it, the less you contaminate

Three cyclist women If we analyze the environmental impact of the bicycle as a means of transport, at this point there are no doubt that it is the most efficient and sustainable solution in urban short displacements. In fact, some scientific studies have calculated that if we replace the car with the bicycle to perform urban displacements of less than 8 kilometers, more than 7 million tons of CO2 would be saved to the atmosphere every year. The carbon footprint of a bicycle is only 21 grams of CO2 per kilometer traveled. It is not an exact figure, since the environmental impact of an urban basic range aluminum bicycle is not the same as that of a high -end electric bicycle. The extraction and transformation of lithium for batteries or electricity consumption to recharge them significantly influence the carbon footprint of e-bikes. It is also important the material with which the tables and components are manufactured, as well as the logistics from the production center to the store where you buy the bicycle. Keep in mind that more than 90% bicycles sold worldwide are manufactured in Southeast Asia. But taking into account all these factors and others that have been the object of analysis by various scientific studies, we can conclude that on average a bicycle generates 21 grams of CO2 to the atmosphere for each kilometer traveled -to talk about CO2 we not only refer Carbon dioxide, but also included other contaminating effects such as NO2 that constitute what is called 'carbon footprint. No other private means of transport has an impact on lower emissions. A curious conclusion reached by an investigation by the Massachusetts Technical Institute in 2010 is that the environmental footprint of a cyclist who moves by bicycle is the same as that of a pedestrian that moves walking.
Conveyance Carbon footprint
Bicycle 21 grams of CO2 per kilometer traveled
Bus 101 grams of CO2 per passenger and kilometer traveled
Train 202 grams of CO2 per passenger and kilometer traveled
Car 271 grams of CO2 per passenger and kilometer traveled
Plane (Boeing 737) 337 grams of CO2 per passenger and kilometer traveled
Van 996 grams of CO2 per passenger and kilometer traveled
  This CO2 calculation also takes into account the necessary infrastructure (roads, railways, airports, etc.), the vehicle's own mantermint and the production of the fuel necessary for its use. Another detail that should not be overlooked is the fact that pedaling on a bicycle does not emit carbon dioxide, while a car emits a large amount of greenhouse gases. This means that the more you use the bicycle, the less they contaminate because you are compensating with its use the waste emitted to the atmosphere during the manufacturing process.

How much does a carbon bicycle contaminate?

[Captation id = "Attachment_6968" Align = "Alignnone" Width = "900"]Carbon fiber Image: Boggy[/caption] We are now talking about the environmental cost of making a bicycle. Here several factors come into play to consider:
  • The extraction of raw materials (aluminum, steel, etc.).
  • The transformation of these raw materials.
  • The production and manufacture of the table.
  • The production and manufacture of the components.
  • The assembly.
  • Logistics from each of the centers for extraction, production and distribution to the final customer.
Manufacture an accessible range bicycle for urban use, with a steel box and a weight of between 17 and 20 kilos generates 96 kilograms of CO2 for environmental footprint. Each kilo of steel that occurs in the industry has an impact of 1.9 kilos of CO2. In the case of aluminum, the most used material in the bicycle industry, this figure rises to 18 kilos of CO2 per kilo of raw material. It is estimated that aluminum mining is responsible for 1% of greenhouse emissions worldwide.
Recycling a carbon picture requires more economic expenditure and energy consumption to make a new one.
More problems from the point of view of its environmental impact are carbon bicycles. Carbon fibers are a synthetic material made from oil. Its manufacturing process uses large amounts of energy, water and the use of toxic resin that generate a very high volume of waste. Between 20% and 30% of carbon fibers become useless during the production process. Manufacturing a carbon bicycle box generates three times more CO2 than to manufacture an aluminum box. Another notable difference is that aluminum can be recycled to be used in the manufacture of new products. And even to make other bicycle pictures again! But carbon is a very difficult material to recycle and the paintings usually end up in landfills or thrown into the bottom of rivers and seas. Recycling a carbon picture requires more economic expense and energy consumption to make a new one.

The environmental problem of electric bicycles

Electric bicycles have become a revolution, not only in regard to the sports cycling industry, but also in the transport sector. It is estimated that by 2030 the e-bike market will reach 89,000 million dollars. They are really a more sustainable alternative than the car or motorcycle in urban displacements. And they also offer new sports experiences when it comes to electric mountain bicycles. But they suppose a problem at the environment. The carbon footprint of an electric bicycle is not less than the 300 kilograms of CO2, exceeding 400 kilos in the case of those that have more powerful engines, batteries of greater autonomy and a higher level of equipment. Do you remember that before we talked about the environmental impact of manufacturing a carbon bicycle? Add an electric motor and a lithium -ion battery. Most of the carbon footprint of an e-bike comes from the extraction and transformation of heavy metals and elements that are needed for the manufacture of electrical batteries and components. Lithium batteries contain toxic materials, with copper, nickel or lead and its useful life is relatively short (between 3 and 6 years). They cannot be discarded in a landfill and need a complex treatment to avoid their decomposition once they have stopped working. Contamination by these batteries can last more than 400 years. That is why the recycling of electric bicycle batteries is one of the great challenges that the bicycle industry has in this decade to fulfill their sustainability purposes.

Reconditioned bicycles, the most sustainable option

Brake record repair Compared to any other vehicle and a half of transport a bicycle is the most sustainable option. And to this advantage we must add your contribution in terms of health. If we take into account the use of the bicycle as a sports habit, its impact is equally remarkable. Practicing cycling helps us stay fit, activates the body performing a cardiovascular and muscular exercise without impact on joints and introduces us to healthy lifestyle habits. In the long term, this contributes to a saving of hundreds of millions in health expenditure. Moving by bicycle reduces the rate of ailments and cardiovascular diseases related to sedentary life so widespread in urban areas. In addition, the environmental impact of sports cycling is very content, since it is not necessary to build infrastructure that degrades the environment. Route cycling uses the roads already built and amortized by the car. And the practice of Mountain Bike is carried out on livestock and paths with a very small impact in terms of noise or degradation of the environment. At this point we have studies and empirical evidence that few discuss the benefits of promoting the use of bicycle as a means of transport, as a sports means and, in combination of both roads, as a fundamental element in decarbonization and the fight against the climate change.
Thanks to our circular economy model in Tuvalum we have contributed to save the issuance of more than 3,500 tons of CO2 to the atmosphere.
Any strategy that encourages the use of bicycle as a way to reduce climate change should include circular economy. If you have decided to park the car and get on the bicycle or you are thinking of replacing the gym with going to make Mountain Bike routes with your friends, buying a second -hand bicycle is the most sustainable option. The bike that generates the least environmental impact is the one that has already been manufactured. This alternative is especially sensitive in the field of sports cycling, where brands are increasingly betting on carbon as material to build the pictures of their bicycles. Carbon fiber is a material that has a very complex and expensive recycling process. As we have seen, recycling a carbon picture is expensive and consumes many energy resources. Buying a new carbon bicycle every two years does not seem like a very sustainable option in environmental terms. Hence the need to generate a cycle of circular economy that allows that bicycle that is stopped not ending in a landfill or parked in a storage room. One of the best decisions you can make as a personal initiative to combat climate change is to get on the bicycle. Better even if it is a reconditioned bicycle, since you avoid the impact on waste that generates the manufacture of a new one. This is what we do in Tuvalum and one of the reasons why we bet on our circular economy model reconditioning and giving it a longer and higher quality to bicycles. Taking into account the carbon footprint of a new bicycle, in Tuvalum we have contributed to save the broadcast of more than 3,500 tons of CO2 to the atmosphere. ---------- Sources and studies that have been used for the elaboration of this infome:
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