6 Excellent Reasons Why Bikes Are Good for the Environment


February 9, 2023


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Biking Eco-friendly

Protecting the planet without losing mobility in Eastern Canada is quite a story! Our vast spaces are often singled out as the source of all our mobility problems. However, solo driving remains the ultimate freedom of movement in many minds. We must now consider the reasons for adopting cycling.

And yet, a mobility revolution is happening among bands of cycle enthusiasts and followers of active and collective transportation modes. A future great master arises on our tracks: the bicycle.

Zero-emission, compact, quiet, friendly, it is attracting more and more people in towns and elsewhere and could well and truly chart new territory for tomorrow’s mobility.

Trying it almost always leads to adopting it, if only occasionally, so here are 6 good reasons to pedal for the planet and society.

This article was produced in collaboration with Earth Day Canada.

Earth Day Canada

In this article, you will discover six good reasons to take up cycling:

  1. Put Your Carbon Footprint on a Diet
  2. Do Good to Your Health and That of Others
  3. Limit Noise Pollution
  4. Say Goodbye to Traffic and Save Time
  5. Reclaim Collective Space
  6. Lower Costs for Communities

1. Put Your Carbon Footprint on a Diet

Biking city nature

In Quebec and Ontario, the transportation sector is by far the leading source of greenhouse gases. Cars, with their omnipresence in our daily traveling, are the first responsible for a large part of these emissions, accentuated by a trend towards increasingly larger vehicles.

Even if this observation may seem discouraging, it actually brings great hope when it comes to revolutionizing our mobility and imagining a cocktail of modes of travel adapted to our uses.

Bikes are a real solution to reduce this heavy ecological bill since they are zero-emission, having no engine. Even electric models have very little impact on the climate since they are charged using our hydroelectricity. In fact, every kilometer traveled by bike helps the fight against climate change!

2. Do Good to Your Health and That of Others

Zero emissions also mean no air pollution and therefore no impact on health. Although the global phenomenon is quite recent, it is already estimated that air pollution is the first threat to global public health, caused in particular by the oil that fuels our cars.

Bikes do not contribute to this phenomenon. Better yet, they are good for health because they reduce the risk of being overweight and living with cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. In short, biking is a mode of transportation with all the benefits of regular sporting activity.

3. Limit Noise Pollution

A bike is also a soft and silent mode of transportation, far from the horns and engine noises of our traditional cars. Often forgotten, noise pollution does invade our cities and impact our mood, our sleep, and therefore our togetherness.

Let us go back to a not-so-distant time: March 2020, at the start of the pandemic, when traffic exceptionally stopped outside our windows. In the heart of cities, silence returned, and the sounds of nature became the soundtrack of our days. Does this not sound amazing?

4. Say Goodbye to Traffic and Save Time

Biking city

A bike ride is a little more enticing than the infamous rush-hour traffic, the one that turns a 20-minute trip into an hour-long adventure. Driving in traffic is stressful, accident-inducing, expensive… Why put ourselves through this if we can avoid it?

In urban areas, a bike can be as fast as a car, benefiting from free-flowing traffic and priority signage. It is therefore perfectly suitable for short trips, which represent the majority of our movements.

To cycle five kilometers, count between 15 and 25 minutes. This means you can quickly cover the short distances that separate you from many of the places you usually drive to: grocery store, daycare, work, etc. In addition, this naturally benefits small neighborhood businesses, which will boost the local economy.

And that’s not all! By actively contributing to reducing traffic, cycling has a direct positive impact on the performance of public transportation. A person who adopts the bicycle therefore allows our buses (and our cars) to circulate better.

5. Reclaim Collective Space

Since a bike is quite compact, it takes up much less space on the roads and in the public spaces.

In traffic, it is estimated that a car occupies the same space as five bicycles. And when the time comes to park, 10 bikes fit in the parking space provided for this same car.

It is very exciting to envision our cities of the future thinking of all this space that could be reused for something other than traffic and parking. Imagine your pedestrian, green city, traversed by high-performance public and active transport networks, where abandoned parking lots are transformed into urban micro-forests or collective landscaped spaces. Something to dream about, right?

6. Lower Costs for Communities

You may find it a bit naive to think that the simple adoption of cycling could revolutionize our lives.

For all the reasons mentioned earlier in this article, cycling reduces the many costs associated with a car: health costs, road maintenance, snow removal, emergency and security personnel, cost of traffic, low attractiveness of small shops, etc.

All this gives rise to a magical phenomenon: each person who travels by bike raises money for the community. In Quebec, for example, it is estimated that each kilometer by car costs society 22 cents, while each kilometer by bicycle saves 20 cents.

That’s more money to finance the transition to a softer, more accessible, fair, sustainable and collective society and mobility. So saddle up!

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