Here's how to offset your bike's carbon footprint


By AGENCY

It takes just under 700km of cycling to make a bike permanently carbon neutral. Photo: AFP

Riding a bike for just under 700km is enough to offset the equivalent of C02 emissions into the atmosphere generated by its construction, according to a report published by American bike manufacturer Trek.

According to Trek's report, manufacturing one of the brand's bikes emits, on average, the equivalent of 174kg of CO2.

You would then have to travel 430 miles, or 692km, choosing your bike over your car, to save the equivalent in carbon of what it took to build it. Those 692km are enough to compensate for these emissions.

Bicycles have the particularity that their long-term use can compensate for the entire carbon impact linked to their manufacturing. Beyond that point, a bike's carbon footprint becomes negative.

The objective is therefore that all owners of a new bicycle should choose their bike over their car for short trips, if they want to make their purchase carbon-neutral.

The report also shows that car travel is infinitely more polluting than travel by electric bicycle, the only type of bicycle that emits greenhouse gases, when their batteries are recharged.

An article in The Guardian, which compiles figures from Trek's report and previous scientific studies, indicates that an electric bike emits an average of 20g of CO2 every 100km, while an electric sedan emits 50 times that amount (about 1,000g).

The figure is especially impressive when compared to a combustion engine sedan or SUV, which respectively emit 11,000g and 14,000g of CO2 every 100km, or up to 700 times more than an electric bike.

To make sense of all these figures, an article in the French newspaper Libération has compiled them in a handy infographic. – AFP Relaxnews

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