How many short trips do you make by car daily? Think about it…maybe a quick jaunt to pick up some milk or items for dinner. Run to the post office? Drop off kids at sports practice? Approximately 40% of all trips in the US are two miles or less. Considering that each trip in the car is contributing to issues of the environment, an alternative solution is bike commuting.
Cycling is part of a sustainable lifestyle, is alternative transportation, helps the environment, and also raises eco awareness. It seems that most people think of bikes as recreation but in our sustainability consulting with business and individuals, we encourage employers and workers to consider cycling as alternative transportation as well as part of a sustainable business strategy.
Not sure if bike commuting is for you? Well, now that fall is approaching with cooler temperatures, now is the best time to find out. Those living a sustainable lifestyle and bike commuting do enjoy fringe benefits.
In fact, you can get paid to bike to work. Your two wheels are now recognized by the IRS as a “qualified transportation fringe benefit” which means that the costs (up to $20/month, $240/year) associated with riding your bike is eligible for reimbursement. Explained in our eco friendly consulting, that things like spare tubes, bar tape, riding gloves, eye wear, cycling clothes, commuter bags, rain gear, lights, gloves, helmet, cost of maintenance, even the cost of a new commuter bike, basically anything you can purchase at a bike shop qualifies for reimbursement.
Other benefits mentioned in our eco friendly consulting:
Bike commuting improves your health:
• Staying in better shape will decrease your chances of getting sick.
• National health statistics show that when you’re more active, you decrease your risk for cancer, heart disease, obesity and diabetes.
• Bicycle commuting allows you to include your workout in your daily schedule and helps to meet fitness goals.
Bike commuting improves your mood:
• More energy available throughout the day.
• Improved health and happiness.
• Regular participation in a cycling routine naturally shifts your focus to include thoughts of the weather, areas in your community to ride, road safety, and traffic. Thereby increasing your awareness of the link between the environment and your community.
Bike commuting saves you money:
• Reduce car maintenance.
• Reduce your gas bill.
• Reduce parking costs.
Bike commuting helps the environment by reducing your carbon footprint. And it can be fun too. My commuter bike is red, her name is Ruby, and she has a ladybug bell on her…everywhere we go, we share eco cheer. Join in the fun!