How do using clean energy and biking to work compare?

When it comes to sustainable living, the first things that come to mind probably have a lot to do with recycling or using less electricity. But thankfully there are a whole bunch of other green behaviors you can adopt in your daily life that will help you reduce your carbon footprint and have a huge impact on the health of our planet. We’re going to be looking at a particularly fun (yes, you read that right — fun!) way to help the planet: riding your bike. Let’s take a closer look at how commuting to work by bike rather than by car can have a positive impact on the environment, and then see how it compares to switching to clean energy.

Pedal power

Many of us are already aware of the impact that driving a car can have on the environment. Since as early as 1859, people have been relying on gas-powered vehicles to get them from home to work, and everywhere in between. And the negative impact of that many decades of car pollution hasn’t gone unnoticed. In fact, every year the average person commutes around 2,250 miles to and from work — that’s around 46 miles every week. At that rate, the average person generates the same amount of pollution as they would by burning over 1,000 pounds of coal! But luckily there are a few different ways that you can get yourself out of this daily pollution cycle without ever taking your car out of the garage. And one of the easiest ways is by biking.

Why is riding a bike good for the environment?

Biking isn’t just good for your mental and physical health, it’s good for the health of your community and the planet as a whole. On an individual level, riding your bike every day can make you happier, increase your confidence, keep you in better shape, and significantly reduce your carbon footprint. And when it comes to the impact biking has on the environment as a whole, the benefits only become more convincing.

Not only do bikes not require any gas or fuel to power them (all you need to do is fuel up your own body and use the power of your muscles!), the production of a single bicycle requires significantly fewer materials than the production of a single gas-powered vehicle. And by biking around town instead of driving, you help reduce air pollution as well as sound pollution from revving car motors. But we’re not saying you have to ditch your car altogether. By simply changing up your routine a bit and biking to work instead of driving, you could prevent the equivalent of 1,000 pounds of coal from being burned into the Earth’s atmosphere. And that’s a big deal.

Car commutes are becoming a thing of the past — and fast

As our world continues to grow and change around us, so are our needs as individuals and as a global community. This means that more and more people are realizing that biking to and from work isn’t just more fun than sitting in traffic — it also minimizes their personal environmental impact and gives them an easy way to fight climate change little by little every day. And as an added benefit, cities around the US have begun promoting bike-share programs and providing public bikes for people to use, making biking even more accessible.

Between 2006 and 2018 alone, the popularity of biking among US residents grew by around 18%. And with the complexities presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, the popularity of biking as a safer way to commute and exercise significantly increased. And, thankfully, this biking trend doesn’t appear to be going anywhere anytime soon. Cities are continuing to invest in safer bike paths and more convenient bike-sharing programs while private businesses offering electric and manual transportation options to consumers are cropping up all across the US.

When biking to work isn’t realistic, clean energy can help

One of the biggest obstacles that people come up against when choosing between jumping in the car and hopping on their bike is distance. And if your commute to work just isn’t bike-friendly, but you still want to reduce your carbon footprint, we have a solution for you.

Using clean energy is not only financially accessible, with flexible plan options and usage reports that help you save energy (and money!), but it is significantly more impactful than biking to work. In fact, supporting clean energy for just one year can help you prevent around 8,000 pounds of coal from being burned into the atmosphere, which is an eight-times greater impact than you’d have by biking to work. Plus, making the switch to clean energy with Inspire takes less than five minutes, and your impact can last a lifetime.

When it comes to making the greatest amount of impact for the least amount of effort, using clean energy is the obvious choice. Learn more about signing up for clean energy with Inspire and how other green behaviors compare to using clean energy on our green behaviors blog.