While Al Gore’s film The Inconvenient Truth has gotten us all thinking about our fragile planet, what we need more than ever now that we are inspired to change are CONVENIENT SOLUTIONS.
I propose there be a follow-up film that would identify the KEY Solutions that can help slow or reverse this global tragedy. My vote for the most convenient and cheapest GREEN solution is the of course the bicycle. The healthiest solution that people from all walks of life can conveniently adopt to save the planet is to hop on their bicycle to get from place to place
Riding a bike we are sitting on a cure to our environmental, health and transportation problems!
Just a friendly public service announcement to get out there and enjoy your world with your kids by bike or foot this spring:
Date collected from my favorite bicycle organization: Bikes Belong
Bicycling helps kids stay healthy & safe:
1. Children who ride a bike two or more times a week are less likely to be overweight
2. Adolescents who participate in bicycling, in-line skating, or skateboarding more than four times a week are 48% less likely to be overweight as adults.
3. Overweight adolescents who participate in bicycling, in-line skating, or skateboarding 3 to 4 days per week are 85% more likely to become normal-weight adults.
4. Adolescents who bike or walk to school watch less TV and are less likely to smoke than their peers who are driven to school. They also get more overall physical activity
5. Adolescents who bike or walk to school are 30% more likely to bike or walk to other neighborhood destinations, regardless of age, free-time physical activity, and neighborhood risk.
6. Fourth grade boys who bike or walk to school have lower BMIs and body fat than non-active commuters.
7. Kids who actively commute to school are also more likely to remain at a healthy weight.
8. Youths who regularly bike or walk to leisure-time activities have better low back strength, low back extension, hip flexion, and extension than those who ride a school bus.
9. Adolescents who bike or walk at least 8 km weekly to regular activities are less likely to suffer from lower back pain.
10. Fifth-grade students who regularly bike or walk to school accumulate 3% more minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity per weekday, or about an additional 24 minutes/day.
11. The more cyclists there are, the safer cycling is. In Marin County, CA, bike commuting increased 66% while bicycle crashes declined 34% from 1998 to 2008. In London there has been a 91% increase in bicycling on the capital’s main roads since 2000, and a 33% reduction in bicyclist casualties in roughly the same period. (many more facts about this)
Bicycling is the CONVENIENT SOLUTION
1. Bicycling instead of driving for 5 miles a day reduces individual CO2 emissions by 1,287 lbs annually*, about 6% of the average U.S. individual’s total emissions
2. If the number of kids who walk and bike to school returned to 1969 levels, it would save 3.2 billion vehicle miles, 1.5 million tons of CO2, and 89,000 tons of other pollutants annually. This is the equivalent of keeping more than 250,000 cars off the road for a year.
3. Assuming bicycling 5 days a week, an average car fuel efficiency of 20.2 mpg2, and an average CO2 content of 20 lbs per gallon of gas3
That’s the energy savings equivalent of:
• Replacing 13 incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs4
• Recycling 400 pounds of waste instead of sending it to the landfill5
• Replacing 2 old refrigerators with newer Energy Star models6
• Flying 2,429 fewer miles a year
And just in case you thought your air inside was better than outside:
1. Urban cyclists are exposed to less accumulated air pollution than bus commuters.
2. On the same urban route, car drivers were exposed to more airborne pollution than cyclists, despite the cyclists’ higher respiration rates.
3. Cycling and walking commuters have significantly lower levels of exposure to harmful pollutants like benzene compared with car commuters and significantly lower levels of pollutant NO2 than bus commuters.
4. Kids who ride a school bus inhale up to a million times more vehicle emissions than the average person outside the bus.
5. Cyclists are exposed to less pollution than taxi or bus passengers.
More great bike stats here. I LOVE BIKES BELONG!
I am available at no charge to come and talk with your scout or youth group about the benefits of cycling and to lead them down the bike path to teach them basic bike path skills, safety and courtesy. Just call me!