Being sustainable cyclists is core to our mission and the culture at Bikmo. As a B Corp and 1% for the planet member, we are always looking at ways we can be more sustainable as a business and also as individual cyclists.
Cycling is a sustainable activity, especially if it is used for commuting or replacing other means of transport, such as a car. However, there are a number of things that are a part of cycling that impact the environment and therefore, areas we can be even more sustainable.
Sustainable ride nutrition
If you ride regularly, we’re sure you’ll have had your fair share of energy bars and gels. When you think about the number you may have eaten over the last few months, the number of wrappers can really add up.
There are now a number of brands packaging their ride nutrition with eco-friendly materials, such as Veloforte with their Zero-Waste-Box programme. Recyclable and compostable wrappers are available and becoming more accessible. Using brands with these will make you a more sustainable cyclist.
If you want to go a step further, it is worth considering making your own homemade ride nutrition. There are now loads of great recipes for things like granola bars and rice cakes, which are simple to make at home. Making ride food doesn’t just reduce your wrapper waste either, it’ll probably save you some money too.
Buy sustainable cycling clothing
There are now a number of ethical cycling clothing brands making high quality kit. When it comes to finding sustainable clothing, the important things to look for are what materials it is made from and where it was made.
For example, if the clothing is made from plastic based materials, it’s unlikely to offer qualities such as being recyclable or biodegradable. If the cycle clothing is made in Asia and sold in Europe for example, then it also has to travel a distance (via plane or boat), resulting in a bigger carbon footprint for the items. If possible, it’s also worth checking what packaging is used for the clothing.
Luckily there are a number of brands offering sustainable cycling clothing options. Brands such as Patagonia and Alpkit are certified B Corp’s and put sustainability at the heart of their companies. It is worth doing your research around other brands, but using ones such as these will make you a more sustainable cyclist.
We’ve also created a blog on the Top 5 sustainable cycling clothing brands
Repair instead of replace
Wear and tear or punctures are an inevitability in cycling. When an inner tube punctures though or your cycle clothing becomes slightly damaged, it doesn’t mean it’s necessarily for the bin.
There are multiple cycle puncture repair kits or patches available and these can be used to fix inner tubes with small punctures. It’s surprising how much life is left in a patched inner tube. It is of course not always possible to repair an inner tube. In these cases some brands, such as Schwalbe have a tube recycling programme.
Repairing doesn’t stop with inner tubes either, it’s possible to get further use out of your clothing too. General clothing repair shops will often patch cycling clothing, or replace zips for example. There are a number of brands also offering repairing services, including Alpkit and Patagonia again. Apidura also offers a cycle repair kit service.
By repairing cycle clothing, kit and equipment, it’ll reduce waste and make cycling an even more sustainable activity.
This seems like a really obvious one, but it is still important to mention. There are a few tips for avoiding littering, even accidentally. If you have a wrapper from your ride nutrition, the easiest place to store it is back in your jersey or jacket pockets.
Can’t use your pockets because they’re full? It’s also possible to tuck your wrappers up the back of your jersey. The fit and elastic that normally comes with jerseys means your wrappers will sit underneath, without falling out.
If you’re stopping at a cafe, most will obviously have a bin. Use your stop as an opportunity to dispose of the empty wrappers!
If you want to go the extra mile, why not pick up other people’s wrappers that you will likely spot on a ride. Think of it as some ad-hoc Trash Free Trails work. You’d be helping the environment as well as improving your own sustainability.
Use BCorp companies where possible
B Corps are a growing group of companies who are reinventing business. Pursuing purpose and improving sustainability, as well as profit. Bikmo has been certified since 2019 and there are other cycling businesses who are also B Corps.
There are B Corp clothing brands, such as Patagonia and Alpkit, who we’ve previously mentioned and there is also component manufacturer Chris King.
The environmental impact of clothing and component production can be high, so by choosing B Corp companies, you’re likely to improve your sustainability due to the standards required to become and stay as one.
Run those errands or commute to work by bike
We know this isn’t an option for everyone. But replacing the car with a bike for a commute or time you’d normally use a vehicle can have a huge impact on your sustainability.
We don’t all own a cargo bike, but Cycling UK found that a cargo bike that replaces a diesel vehicle can save 5 tons of carbon emissions per year. Trek have also calculated that on-top of reducing emissions by replacing car journeys with the bike, on average a person offsets the carbon cost it took to produce the bike once 430 miles have been ridden.
Not only that, our Finance Assistant, Helen started doing the school run by bike this year. With the high fuel prices we’ve been hit with and being a finance bod. Helen crunched the numbers and worked out that by not using the car for the school run 4 days a week, she saves £34 a month on petrol!
The benefits don’t stop there with commuting, it makes you less stressed and more productive. If you need some tips for commuting to work, we’ve made The Ultimate Commuting By Bike Guide as well.
Cover your cycling clothing
Our cycle insurance products all include cover for your kit. When it comes to protecting your clothing and accessories, we offer some of the most generous cover out there as standard, with – £250 or 10% (whichever greater) of your insured values for clothing and helmets.