THE COST OF GAS-RELIANT COMMUNITIES
It’s estimated that there are 253 million cars and trucks in the United States. It’s no secret that motor vehicles produce emissions that are harmful to the environment. Gas-burning vehicles account for more than 30 percent of carbon dioxide, 80 percent of carbon monoxide and 50 percent of nitrogen oxide emissions in the United States.
Motor vehicles are also resource-intensive to produce. Bikes weigh only a fraction of even the smallest motor vehicles, meaning they require much less in energy and materials. But what may be even more intrusive to natural environments is the infrastructure required to support this army of vehicles. Studies show that the United States contains as many as 2 billion parking spaces, a number that doesn’t include roads and highways-all of which require construction and ongoing maintenance, as well as raw material extraction, transportation and placement.
In comparison, bikes take up much less space on roads and in parking lots. Dollar for dollar, bike infrastructure is much cheaper than motor-vehicle infrastructure, making it easier to produce more for less. Cyclists also don’t burn non-renewable sources of energy and produce almost no harmful emissions.
In North America, the increased popularity of biking has led to a growing industry for specialty bikes and accessories. High-end road bikes and newly-popular electric bikes can cost thousands of dollars. Unlike motor vehicles, which come with their own built-in security features, bikes require external means for protection. As such, many riders prefer parking their bikes in fully-enclosed lockers, where they can be left for several hours under a single lock and key.
These days, businesses are looking for new and better ways to increase their commitment to social and environmental responsibility. This not only benefits the environment, but it can also go to support a company’s bottom line-as a sustainable image can go far in supporting a brand and reputation. Companies are working to reduce their carbon footprints by reducing energy consumption, minimizing waste and encouraging responsible practices among staff at work and at home.
LEED BUILDING CERTIFICATION
Many companies are opting to use third-party certification to verify their commitment to sustainable practices. The Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) designation system offers a verified rating system to evaluate buildings and operations on specific features of design, construction, daily logistics and maintenance. Developed by the US Green Building Council, the standard encourages building owners to be more eco-friendly while providing valuable tools and resources for achievement.
Proper bike infrastructure can help businesses and building managers score higher on stringent LEED standards and criteria by supporting alternative modes of transportation. Bike racks and bike bollards offer the simplest options for bike parking, while bike lockers provide the highest level of protection and security.