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The greenest alternative to vehicle use is to walk or ride a bicycle to your destination, which gives you both health benefits and green-living points. Even if your destination is out of range for your legs and bike, walking or cycling to a nearby train or bus stop is still much healthier than driving — for you and the planet.

Cycling is becoming an increasingly popular mode of transport, largely as a result of many cities and towns investing in good, safe, and direct cycling paths that don’t compete with road traffic. In some cases, using a bicycle is quicker than dealing with traffic congestion.

Biking to work keeps you and the planet healthy.
Biking to work keeps you and the planet healthy.

If you plan to cycle to and from destinations, you need to do some planning:

  • Make route plans. Research the route you’ll use, looking for well-surfaced roads or paths that are wide enough to avoid conflicts with other vehicles.

  • Inquire about bike storage at your destination. Before you roll up, make sure that your destination and any interim bus or train station has good bicycle parking, ensuring that no one will take off with your two-wheeled transportation investment. If you’re headed for the train or bus station, inquire at the transit company about whether the trains or buses permit you to take the bike onboard or have racks on front to hold it. If secure storage isn’t available, lobby for it.

  • Seek out shower facilities (if needed). If you’re riding or walking and know that you’ll work up a sweat, check that you have access to shower and changing facilities. If your workplace doesn’t have these kinds of facilities, talk to your boss about making them available and why you think they’d make a difference to the work environment as well as the wider environment.

If you take up cycling to become a greener traveler, don’t forget to stay safe. Make sure you have good lights and a bell or horn on the bike, and wear a helmet and highly visible, reflective clothing. Motorists need to be able to see you easily in the dark or in poor visibility.

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