Get in Gear for Spring Bike Season, Part 3: Eco-Friendly Gear

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Published on June 2nd, 2010  |  Discuss This Article  

Margaret Southern, Cool Green Science’s green blogger, is posting about getting ready for spring biking season.

Once you pull your bike out from months of storage (like perhaps you did for Bike to Work Week), it’s important to make sure it’s in good shape. A quick tune-up and cleaning should be enough to send most people on their way.

However, if you find that it’s time to get or upgrade some accessories, think about some of the eco-friendly options that will make your green ride even greener.

Panniers

Panniers make my life so much easier. They’re great for toting groceries, your purse, your lunch and your jacket on those days when it’s 40 degrees in the morning and 70 degrees in the afternoon.

I actually have no idea what my panniers are made of, but I’m sure they aren’t as environmentally friendly as these made out of recycled juice boxes. The bags are made by a program called Money For Garbage, which gives jobs, health care and loans to women in the Philippines.

Lighting

Bike lights eat batteries. If you forget to turn off your light after riding a couple of times, you’ll certainly have to throw in some new batteries. And once the bulbs go out, you pretty much just have to throw the whole thing out.

So, why not invest in some solar-powered bike lights? This Owleye Solar Headlight gives you 5 full hours of power for just 3 hours of sun charging. And it’s easily detachable, so you can just put the light on the window sill to charge.

Repair Kit Bag

In the market for a little under-the-seat bag to carry your repair kit? Consider picking up this one, which is made partially from a recycled inner tube. Isn’t it nice to know that something useful could come out of a frustrating flat tire incident?

Clothing

As I’ve mentioned before, most bike rides don’t require special clothing. If you like to put on a full kit to go for a 5-mile ride, I won’t judge you (probably), but first-time riders take note: It’s not required.

So if you’re thinking about some eco-friendly clothing options, don’t think that you are stuck with Spandex. Consider breathable organic cotton or bamboo shirts, or choose products from a company that employs sustainable sourcing methods. But better yet: Look in your bottom drawer. I don’t know about you, but I’m not too proud to wear that old free t-shirt with corporate logos all over it when I’m exercising. It was free!

Bamboo Bikes!

If you are in the market for a new bike, consider the ultimate in sustainable materials: a bike made of bamboo. Bamboo is emerging as a sustainable building material due to its fast growth rate (it’s in the grass family), which means it is a renewable resource and sequesters large amounts of carbon dioxide as it grows.

And according to bike maker Craig Calfee, bamboo is an ideal material for bicycles. Calfee says that it’s stronger and lighter than most metals, and absorbs road vibration much better. (And it looks pretty darn cool, too!)

But don’t forget that even when you’re buying eco-friendly products, you’re still buying stuff. It’s almost always better to try and repair what you already have or buy a gently used product than to buy something brand new. Check sites like Craigslist.org or Ebay for specific items, or take some time to check out local yard sales, flea markets or thrift shops. And happy shopping!

(Image Credit: randystoreyphotography/Flickr via a Creative Commons license.)

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2 Responses to “Get in Gear for Spring Bike Season, Part 3: Eco-Friendly Gear”

  1. Sohail says:

    Government as well as people have to take initiatives for daily use of eco-friendly products.

    more than 95% we depend on petroluem products and plastic etc… in our daily use, industrial level, automobile sector which again produces pollution which is the root cause of all the problem like radiation, carcinogenic agents, making a miserable life of an individual.

    So, that the technology and research have developed so much. Now we can depend on biofuels as an alternatives which emit less pollutants and the optimum utilization of solar and wind energy

    It is the primary and the foremost responsibilty of the Government and as well as private organisations to create
    awareness among the public.

    Start planning for tomorrow and make earth a safe place for leaving for today and tomorrow and for the next generation.

    Government has to tighten the rules and regulations i.e not only in PAPER but also in IMPLEMENTATION of the rules and regulations because this is about our environment and our future and the future of our children.

    stringent rules and regulations to be made apart from that tranings and awarness camps to be conducted on monthly, quarterly and yearly basis.

    It’s my sincere request to the automobile companies please develop eco-friendly cars and bikes.

    few years ago I saw a german company designed cars which run on water and the exhaust or biproduct is H2O.

    If the same kind of inventions are appreciated.

    It a warning, Please don’t ignore

    SOHAIL

  2. Well, I like biking, but still do enjoy riding my Honda motorcycle from time to time. If nothing, at least it a lot less pollution prone than all the SUV today

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