Is cycling a good way to help the planet? YES!
What is our carbon footprint with regard to cycling? If your cycling calories come from cheeseburgers, they emissions per mile are about the same as two people driving an efficient car, says Mike Berners-Lee in his book How Bad Are Bananas? The Carbon Footprint of Everything.
65 g CO2e powered by bananas
90 g powered by cereals with milk
200 g powered by bacon
260 g powered by cheeseburgers
2800 g powered by air-freighted asparagus!
The good news is: the lower-carbon options are also the ones that make the best cycling fuel.
Bananas of course are great! The bad carbon footprint comes from getting your cycling energy by piling up your plate with asparagus that has been flown by air from the other side of the world!
At 2.8 kg per mile this is like driving a car that does six miles to the gallon (a shade over a mile per litre).
Is cycling a carbon-friendly thing to do? Yes! Certainly Yes! Powered by biscuits, bananas or breakfast cereal, the bike is nearly 10 times more carbon efficient than the most efficient petrol cars! It also keeps us healthier if we take care not to end up under a bus!
The writer bought a folding bike (so he could commute on the train) so he could get half an hour’s exercise and 15 minutes reading a book!