I have been reading about how systems are developing around the world to trade carbon offsets. As a bicycle commuter, I am concerned with the environment (although the fact that there is no parking at work may also be a big factor!) but there is also the pleasure I get riding to and from the office. It was cold and windy this morning but I dressed properly and felt great.
I received an e-mail newsletter trom TerraPass, probably the largest carbon-offset trader available to consumers. I had originally gone on their website to determine how to make my next trip to Europe carbon-neutral and there is a lot of interesting stuff on the site. What piqued my interest today was a piece by Adam Stein, the director of marketing at TerraPass, about how bicycling has changed his transportation life. But I think his concluding comments are particularly important:
Now it’s been five months of biking to and from work every day. I feel healthier and I’ve gained satisfaction from “riding” the TerraPass talk. This weekend I measured my gasoline usage from January to May (115 gallons) and June to October (55 gallons). My auto-related carbon emissions dropped from 2,249 pounds to 1,031 pounds over a comparable five-month period. I’m not saying everyone can make such changes in personal transportation. But if 20% of urban dwellers in the U.S. would shift from a car to a bike as their primary way to get around town, it would add up to a lot of tons of real carbon reductions.
When I lived in the United States, a lot of people pooh-poohed bike commuting as an alternative to driving but in fact it can serve as a useful supplement for particular kinds of trips.
Tailwinds to everyone!