Cycling & Walking

How does cycling and walking contribute to a clean environment?

  • Cycling and walking requires no fuel
  • Bicycles take a lot less energy to make than a car
  • No need for toxic batteries or motor oil

How much air pollution is prevented by commuting by cycling or walking?

Cycling and walking offer air quality benefits as well as health benefits. Check out the amount of pollutants you can reduce by cycling or walking to work vs. driving.


*Data based on a 10 mile round trip commute, 5 days a week for a year

And those are just the pollutants from fuel use. From the foam and plastic in its seats to the petroleum in its tires, each car is a small pollution factory. Several tons of waste and 1.2 billion cubic yards of polluted air are generated in its manufacture alone! In 2008 the US produced 1.6 million billion metric tons of waste mining ore for automotive production. In the US each year, painting and coating cars produces 40 million pounds of air releases and 24 million pounds of hazardous wastes.

During its lifetime, on the road, each car produces another 1.3 billion cubic yards of polluted air and scatters an additional 40 pounds of worn tire particles, brake debris, and worn road surface into the atmosphere.

Cycling and walking significantly reduces transporation emissions while also reducing traffic congestion and the need for petroleum. The total number of pounds of pollutants, (comprised of hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and carbon dioxide), emitted per year is 12,140.30 lbs/year (or 0.97 lbs/mile) for passenger cars and 17,025.80 lbs/year (or 1.21 lbs/mile) for light trucks.

How much more environmentally friendly is bicycling compared to driving a Hybrid

  • Hybrid cars are much larger than bikes. 14,000 pounds of carbon are produced in the production of each vehicle.
  • Most hybrids requre large batteries such as nickel metal hydride batteries which are known carcinogens and have been shown to cause a variety of teratogenic effects. Also, nickel mining is often done in open cast mines with all the attendant pollution that goes along with excavating large holes in the ground.
  • Hybrids do use some gas to run, while cycling and walking requires none.
  • When you rely on a car for transportation, you are more likely to go further for errands and not rely on completely carbon free forms of transportation such as walking and cycling. You support your local businesses when you get there by bike or walking.