Environmental benefits of cycling for kids and families
23 January 2024
In an era where environmental awareness is more crucial than ever, embracing eco-friendly habits can start with something as simple and enjoyable as riding a bike. Beyond the physical and mental health advantages, cycling holds incredible potential in contributing positively to our planet's well-being.
When it comes to kids and families, hopping on a bike not only promotes a healthy lifestyle but also fosters a deeper connection with nature and a more sustainable way of living.
Did you know, that on a bicycle, you can travel three times faster than you can walk, for the same amount of energy? The world record for the fastest human being on a bike is a staggering 183.9mph!
Source: Action Aid
Reducing carbon footprint
One of the most significant environmental benefits of cycling is its role in reducing carbon emissions. Not only is the carbon footprint of producing a bicycle far less than a car 90kg for Frog bikes vs 5,600 for a petrol car. But unlike cars, bicycles don’t emit harmful gases or contribute to air pollution either. Instead, each pedal stroke made by kids and families represents a conscious choice towards a cleaner, greener future.
Did you know that the first bicycle was invented 200 years ago in response to a shortage of horses? It was made of wood and riders had to push their feet on the ground to move - much like today's balance bikes.
Source: Cycling UK
By opting for bikes over cars for short-distance trips or daily commutes, we can collectively decrease our carbon footprint and help combat climate change.
Cycling has a carbon footprint per kilometre travelled of 16 to 50 grams CO2e (depending on how efficiently you cycle and what you eat), compared to 170g for a petrol car*
Improving traffic congestion
When more people, including kids, choose cycling as a mode of transportation, it helps alleviate traffic congestion. This reduction in traffic contributes to smoother traffic flow and fewer idling vehicles, thus lowering overall emissions and noise pollution.
With the average school being just over 1 mile from home, a short 10-minute cycle to and from school each day is a great way to help start reducing traffic congestion.
Promoting eco-friendly habits
Introducing cycling to children instils eco-conscious values from an early age. By choosing a green mode of transportation, kids learn the importance of reducing dependence on fossil fuels and embracing sustainable alternatives. As they grow, these habits become ingrained, shaping a generation that values and respects the environment.
Did you know that the Dutch use bicycles to get around more than people in any other country, cycling about 1.6 miles a day? If that was the trend across the world, it would slash 686 million metric tons of carbon dioxide pollution a year (about 20% of global emissions from cars).
Source: The Verge
Connecting with nature
Cycling isn’t just about exercise or commuting; it's an invitation to explore the outdoors. Families pedalling together through parks, nature trails, or scenic routes create lasting memories while fostering a deeper appreciation for nature. This connection inspires a desire to protect the environment and encourages responsible stewardship of the world around us.
Preserving natural spaces
Choosing bikes over cars reduces pollution and helps preserve natural spaces. As cycling paths and trails become more utilised, there's a growing emphasis on conserving these areas, ensuring they remain accessible and protected for generations to come. This increased appreciation for outdoor spaces often leads to community involvement in conservation efforts and advocating for green initiatives.
Incorporating cycling into kids' lives isn’t just a leisurely activity; it’s a powerful step towards environmental responsibility. So, grab those helmets, saddle up, and ride towards a greener, healthier planet, one pedal at a time!
- For tips on going car-free visit the Sustrans website >>
- Click here to find out ways to talk to your child about climate change >>
- Read Frog Bikes 2022 Emissions Report to learn about the actions we’re taking