Saturday, October 18, 2008

Be a Greener Biker

If you’re a biker you already know that it’s a fantastically green alternative to carbon-emitting automobiles. But there are still ways to make your hobby even better for the environment.

Recycle your tires and tubes! Bikes can go through tires remarkably quickly. You may not even think of it, but recycling tubes can save a lot of landfill space. If you get your spares fixed at a bike shop, make sure they recycle. If they don’t encourage them to do so, and ask to have your old tubes so you can recycle them.

Fun Fact: If 1 in 14 Americans recycled their old tubes and tires every year, it could pave the route of the Tour de France!

If you are in the market for a new bike (lucky you!) choose a steel frame over an aluminum frame. Though steel tends to be heavier, it is much more eco-friendly because it can be produced using some recycled materials while aluminum frames must be made new, requiring much more energy. And, even when steel frames aren't made from recycled materials, it's production still uses less energy.

Buy a Cycloc Bike Rack. They’re a little pricy, but they’re made from 100% recycled plastic. They’re also a very chic design, and a great space saver.

Pick a bike helmet made of materials that can be recycled. Then, when you’re done with it, recycle the helmet!

Bike during the morning, especially if you live in an urban area like I do. This is when pollution levels are lowest. It’s just good for you!

(Some of these tips can be found in The Green Book, by Elizabeth Rogers and Thomas M. Kostogen.)

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