June 3 is World Bicycle Day. The United Nations established this holiday four years ago because the bicycle is a global symbol of sustainable transport. The employees of LIFE Integrated Projects, operating at the Marshal’s Office of the Malopolska Region, know this very well.
Why so much hype about a vehicle on two wheels? The UN resolution stresses that the bicycle should be seen as a means to support sustainable development, strengthen education, including physical education of children and youth, prevent diseases, promote healthy lifestyles, tolerance, mutual understanding and respect. Of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals, as many as 13 are directly linked to cycling.
Among the most important advantages of cycling is the significant reduction of CO2 and greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, thus contributing to improving air quality and slowing climate change. Choosing two wheels instead of four saves on average 100 grams of CO2 emissions for every kilometer. According to a study published last year in the journal Transportation Research, the average person who swaps their bike for a car for just one day a week reduces their carbon footprint by 3.2 kg of CO2 (that’s the equivalent of driving 10 km in a car). Replacing one car trip a day with a bike for an entire year will reduce a city dweller’s carbon footprint by more than half a ton of CO2. That’s the equivalent of one plane trip from London to New York.
The physical benefits of regular cycling include improving fitness, supporting the heart and circulatory system, and maintaining a healthy body weight. A half-hour bike ride is also excellent rehabilitation for muscles, joints, and spine stiffened by office work. Using a bike, as any physical effort, also stimulates the secretion of serotonin and endorphins in the body, responsible for the feeling of happiness.
All cycling benefits are taken into account by employees of LIFE Integrated Projects, responsible for improving air quality and climate protection. In the Air Protection Team, the Climate Team, and the Financial Management Team, out of 27 people, as many as 15, including the Director, commute to work by bike every day