As greenhouse gases, particularly CO2, have reached progressively worrisome levels, cycling has drawn attention as the most sustainable travel solution. Yet the cycling industry is not exempt from having its own non eco-friendly methods and practises even as marketers remind people to use bikes as mode of transportation. The good news is that various brands of cycling related products have launched initiatives to shift to production and packaging methods deemed as more sustainable; or at least, allow bike users adopt eco-friendly lifestyles.
When taking the cycling option regularly, bike riders should keep in mind that the use of bicycles does not necessarily mean the transport mode is green. Sustainability to be good for the environment means repairing and reusing things, buying less and only from green businesses. Below are some examples of cycling companies that have been making changes to their products, or shifted to methods that would make their brand more environment-friendly.
Hutchinson Uses New Technology to Reinforce Tire Structure
Hutchinson recently created a tire reinforcement technology, which the company claims can reduce the impact of tire wastes on the environment. Hutchinson calls the new technology Gridskin, which utilises a knitted mesh-like structure to deliver better tire protection. The technology is created to stop sharp objects from puncturing the tires and to isolate damage if any.
The aerospace company claimed that the process of creating tires with this level of reinforcement takes less effort. Less effort means there is a reduction in emissions, fewer wastes, lower demand for rubber and reduced usage of electricity to manufacture the tires.
Trek Removes All Plastic Materials Used in Product Packaging
Cycling product and bicycle manufacturer Trek announced that they are now using methods to remove the 433,600 pounds of plastic they previously used in delivering bike products to their buyers. Moreover, they plan to remove all plastics from their packaging by 2024 and so far, the company is on track in achieving its goal.
Pearl Izumi’s ‘Pedal to Zero’ Initiative Offers Ways to Offset Carbon Impact of Garments
Active wear manufacturer Pearl Izumi offers a carbon trade off approach to consumers loyal to their brand. In Pearl Izumi’s upcoming BikeStyle Spring 2022, the collection provides statistics on how much carbon dioxide was spent to create each garment. Using the Higg Product module in determining emissions, the statistics serve as guide for customers, in calculating how much carbon dioxide needs offsetting; or be prevented from being released when wearing a set of Pear Izumi cycling gear.
To cite an example, a standard car approximately releases 404 grams of carbon dioxide per mile. Using the stats for the related products, determine how many miles you have to travel using your bike instead of your car, to offset the CO2 used in the manufacture of your cycling clothes.
Arguments vs. Carbon Trade Offs of Acceptable Method of Fulfilling Sustainability Goals
Compared to the construction industry in which sustainability has been decided as one that should follow the circular economy model in sourcing materials amd construction products, the cycling industry is still unsettled. Many still prefer to adopt carbon trade offs as their forefront approach.
Those who do not see trades offs as the right approach, argue that sustainability shouldn’t come as an after thought. Sustainability development should involve evaluation of the entire processes, from raw stage to product completion.
Take for example the need for construction companies to use ground protection mats when using cranes and heavy equipments in order to reduce soil compaction and prevent ground contamination at any point in time during an ongoing construction project. Actually both the OSHA and EPA requires the use of ground protection coverings as part of safety measures.