In Britain, the Supreme Court is making a serious attempt at saving the environment. By 31 December 2015, Britain is required to present a plan detailing how they intend to improve air quality to the European Commission. While the government works to put a plan in place, citizens throughout the United Kingdom can take a giant step toward saving the environment by riding bicycles. From cycling to work to taking your bike to pick up a few items at the produce market, it’s easier than you think to incorporate cycling into your daily life.
How Cycling Can Save the Environment
Riding a bike instead of driving your personal vehicle or taking public transportation has significant benefits, including reducing air and noise pollution. Cars are currently the biggest source of greenhouse gases and other unhealthy air pollutants. Bikes will cut down on the number of cars, buses, and trains on the road, which will reduce congestion. This means fewer vehicles idling in traffic, which will reduce the amount of time they spend on the road, thus lowering their emissions.
As an added bonus, as more and more people opt for bicycles over cars, the need for the metal used to produce cars will decrease. It is not unusual for the metals used to create vehicles to be mined from the earth, which results in deforestation and allows pollution to enter the atmosphere when these raw materials are extracted. In addition, mining often leaves the landscape without vegetation for years, which only adds to global warming by removing the trees needed to clean the atmosphere. Finally, mining for the metal needed to create a vehicle often leads to contaminated water sources.
Additional Benefits to Biking
Riding a bike is particularly beneficial for your health. It can protect you from a wide variety of diseases, including heart attacks and strokes, thanks to improved cardiovascular fitness. It also decreases your risk of developing diabetes, arthritis, and some cancers, while strengthening your bones, improving your coordination, joint mobility, and posture, and increasing your flexibility and muscle strength.
According to the European Trade Union Confederation, the biking industry will also provide economic benefits that will be felt throughout the United Kingdom. It is believed that growth in the cycling economy has a higher job creation potential than the automotive industry. In addition, the health benefits and reduced risk of multiple chronic conditions can decrease NHS costs, which would give the government the opportunity to direct these savings toward another important program.
Riding a bike does much more than help improve air quality. It plays a huge role in saving the environment, has the potential to improve the economy, and offers numerous health benefits. If you have never considered riding your bike, it is time to start seriously looking into how you can incorporate biking into your daily routine. If it is not possible to ride your bike every day, start with doing it a couple of days a week and make an attempt to increase your efforts from there.