U2: Bike for a cleaner healthier life

Bono riding a bicycle in Central Park,  NYC< New Your City.
Bono. lead singer of U2, has been a great propounder of a sustainable lifestyle

Despite the recent headlines aboutU2s front-man Bono's bicycle accident at Central Park in New York City, after which the singer underwent 18 screws and five hours of surgery to repair multiple fractures to eye, shoulder and finger; biking is a great way to a healthy, clean and green lifestyle. 

If you want to know more, ask the Danes.
Or visit Copenhagen. 

Where, every morning at around 7am men in business suits, women fashionably dressed in the latest styles down to their high heel shoes and parents carrying their children in a cargo bike all hop on their bikes and get off to work or school.

In Denmark school children use bicycles to go to school

In a perfect world, people would cycle to their destination not because it cut down on emissions but because it was the faster and more efficient way to go from one point to another. In a perfect world, it becomes like driving a car – you may not be like to drive but you have to. In a perfect world, cycles will replace cars.  

Fashionably dressed women go to work on bikes

By that definition, Denmark is near-perfect. In the past two years, the rate of people cycling to work or school in Copenhagen has increased from 36 per cent to 41 per cent.

Bicycles can reduce global warming

So momentous has the growth been that since the beginning of the year, the city’s authorities are considering widening the bike lanes – from the present three-bike lane to four bikes. 

Cargo bikes are very common means to transport goods or babies!

What’s more, “green waves” will be introduced, when a series of traffic lights will be green so that cyclists can cross intersections without crossing. LED lighting systems are also being planned, which will convert bus lanes into bike lanes during rush hour. The authorities are doing everything they can to make sure the city is super-safe for cyclists.  

All Danes love their bikes, you and old alike

And these measures are in addition to the city’s cycling infrastructure that is already in place – 360 km of wide bicycle tracks, raised tracks between bike lanes and pedestrian pavements and car lanes. Several city centres are now out of bounds for vehicles, which includes the area outside the Parliament. During winters when the city experiences heavy snowfall, the cycle tracks and lanes are cleaned before car lanes. Next on the card is a scheme to connect Copenhagen to its suburbs through cycling lanes. 

All cities are tyring cycling as a way to reduce emissions and pollution

Other world cities such as London, New York, Rio de Janeiro, Bogotá, Beijing, Guangzhou, Hangzhou and Tokyo are looking at increasing their cycling infrastructure extensively. 

Cycling can prove to be a healthy and clean way of tranportation in Metro cities
A group of riders enjoying the outdoor in Gurgaon,India. There are no organized cycling lanes in Indian cities.

 Compare this to Delhi, where cyclists still have to jostle for space and safety with fast cars. Not to mention Kolkata, where cyclists are due to be banned from busy city centres. That these two Indian cities are also the most polluted can’t be a coincidence, can it?

SN Subrahmanya, EVP of Larsen & Toubro on a bike in their Chennai campus

What other ways can I help keep the air clean?
Should I plant a tree?  
How will my planting trees help? 

The simplest way to combat climate change is to plant trees: Trees breathe in Carbon Di Oxide and through the process of photo-synthesis create food for themselves and breathe out Oxygen.  Carbon Di Oxide is one of the main causes of global warming. CO2 and other Green House Gases blanket the earth's atmosphere and trap heat.  This leads to warming of the earth's atmosphere as the trapped heat is prevented from escaping. 

Planting  and nurturing a tree helps reduce global warming as trees absorb CO2 and release oxygen. A mature tree sequesters up to a ton of Carbon in its life time. It also gives out enough oxygen required by two human beings.
Planting a tree can be one of the most satisfying activities of our lives. Nurturing a tree we have planted and watching it grow and bear fruit is an extremely rewarding experience. 
Apart from this, here are a few more reasons to help you start planting:
  •     As a gift: Gifting a tree to a friend, a colleague, a dear one can be a very unique experience.
  •     In memory of a loved one..
  •     To mitigate our individual carbon footprint.
  •     As part of our corporate social responsibility.

Sustainable Green Initiative plants fruit trees on fallow/ community lands and on lands owned by marginal and Bpl farmers.  We work with self help groups and NGOs who help us identify right beneficiaries who can continue the process of planting and nurturing trees.

At Sustainable Green Initiative, we plant trees to help the fight against climate change and also hunger, poverty and rural migration.  By planting a tree through us, you help in doing your bit to mitigate your carbon footprint and carry on the fight against hunger, poverty and climate change.


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