Global warming is an unavoidable and worsening crisis. Just look at what happened to the UK’s two biggest bike festivals this year, the Malverns Classic and ’Ard Rock Enduro – both cancelled due to extreme weather. It’d be good for the planet if all we tried to be a little conscientious, in both our bike life and everyday life. Here are some small things we can do as mountain bikers to reduce our environmental impact.
1. Ride to the trails
If you can, why not pedal straight from the front door? It saves packing up the car and sitting in traffic, apart from anything else. And if you’re heading further afield, don’t all go in separate vans, jump in together and share a lift. That way, most of you get to enjoy a post-ride pint too!
2. Buy eco-friendly
Fast fashion is a huge contributor to environmental issues, so where possible, buy quality kit that’s built to last. Look at brands like Patagonia or Vaude, who’ll repair stuff too. We know not everyone can afford organic fabrics, but pesticides from industrial-scale textile farming are very polluting. A bluesign certification on clothing indicates that the fabrics have been sustainably sourced, and it’s good to see brands like Troy Lee Designs and Specialized incorporating this in their production processes. Also, try to seek out biodegradable cleaners and lubes that are free from harsh chemical compounds. You can even get mudguards made from 100 per cent recycled materials now, from RideGuard.
3. Recycle and reuse
The bike industry are guilty of pushing everyone to buy the latest and greatest new stuff, but you don’t always need it. Repairing stuff (where possible) or buying second-hand can save you a lot of money. Donating to a bicycle charity can help get someone less fortunate out on two wheels. Don’t bin tyres and inner tubes either, as councils can often recycle these along with old car tyres.
4. Holiday on home soil
We may not be blessed with the best weather here in the UK, but what we do have is an abundance of great riding. Instead of being lured in by cheap Ryanair deals or epic shots from Whistler, why not think about planning a ‘staycation’ to a place you’ve never ridden before in your home country?
What about MBUK?
Here at MBUK, we’re as guilty as anyone of driving to the trails (admittedly, we’re normally taking more than one bike to test) and flying overseas (mainly to inject a little sunshine into our pages!), but we are working towards making the magazine more sustainable. From issue 377, subscribers’ mags will be delivered in 100 per cent recyclable paper packaging, which can be added to kerbside recycling collections. Most newsstand copies already come in recyclable, low-density polyurethane (LDPE) bags. In the MBUK office, we’ve massively reduced the amount of paper we use. Our parent company, Immediate Media, plan to switch to 100 per cent renewable energy too. Small steps, but it’s a start, and there’ll be more to come.