Picking Your Mode of Transport

I can get from my house to the in-laws three different ways: by car, by subway, and by bike.

The drive from my house to the in-laws, according to the Honda app linked to my car, emits about 200g of carbon into the air. That's not including the other externalities such as local air pollution, noise, and just being traffic. It costs about Β₯100 in fuel and maintenance. This is only economicaly because a neighbor lets us park on some of their land for free. Otherwise we'd need to add Β₯400 - Β₯600 for temporary car storage. There is no view, just narrow roads. Depending on traffic, it takes about 20 - 30 minutes and I arrive feeling stressed.

Going by the subway costs Β₯252 one way and there's a 10 minute walk on either side. This is more efficient than the car because a) there's many more people riding the same vehicle, b) it's electric (though that power may be coming from coal). The view is nothing, because it's mostly underground. Total trip time is about 30 - 35 minutes.

Lastly, I can go by bicycle. It costs me nothing. It's powered by peanut butter and bananas. The view is rice fields and a river. I arrive feeling happy and calm, because I was looking at nice scenery and getting some exercise.

While the concept of a personal carbon footprint was invented by big oil,Β  each trip we can take that doesn't emit carbon emissions does make difference. Each trip is an opportunity. An opportunity to pick the means of less impact. Less noise. Less pollution. Less traffic. Less carbon.

But it's also an opportunity to inspire your community. It's an opportunity to be the change you want to see. At first it might just be you. But someone might see you and think "I can do that." and take their bike next time. And someone seems them riding their bike and has the same thought. It an opportunity to normalize riding a bike as transport in your community.

More people ride bikes when they see people riding bikes. More people riding bikes means more demand for proper infrastructure. More people riding bikes means less local air pollution and a happy, healthier, calmer community.

When you have the choice, take your bike.