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Riding Towards a Greener Future: Earth Day and Eco-Friendly Bicycle Products

by John Zappa - bike advocate and chief rider
Plastic litter on beachfront - Photo courtesy of Wikipedia commons

Many people celebrated Earth Day last week, and it's essential to reflect on our impact on the planet and explore ways to minimize our carbon footprint. And this is not easy. Where I live in Chicago, the Alliance for Great Lakes just issued a report showing that over 86% of the litter on the beaches in the Great Lakes is composed of plastic, up from 80% since the last report. And in case you didn’t know, the floating garbage patch in the Pacific Ocean is estimated to contain 1.8 trillion pieces most of which are plastic. Despite all the progress since the first Earth Day, challenges remain. You might be saying well yes, that’s discouraging, but hey I do my part by cycling which is one of the most environmentally friendly modes of transportation. And you are right but there's more to the story...


The Plastic Reality of Eco-friendly Cycling

Cycling isn't just a means of getting from point A to point B; it's a lifestyle choice that benefits both individuals and the planet. By opting for two wheels over four, cyclists reduce greenhouse gas emissions, alleviate traffic congestion, and promote healthier lifestyles. Moreover, cycling allows us to connect with nature, fostering a deeper appreciation for the environment we aim to protect.

But did you know that most bicycle accessories are fashioned from plastic? Every little bracket, fastener, attachment, bike computer holder, cargo container, etc. is most likely made of plastic. Any why? Because plastic is lightweight, cheap to produce, waterproof and can be shaped into a variety of forms, which are wonderful attributes. However, it's not the only material with those attributes. And isn’t it a bit ironic that while we are pursuing a sustainable, “green” endeavor, we are also contributing to more plastic despoiling the environment? ​


Our Commitment to Sustainability

Many of you know that ZappaWheels started as a blog for bike commuters with tips, resources and advice from fellow commuters. Four years ago, we pivoted to creating bicycle accessories to help people make biking part of their everyday life. Our first product, the ZappaWheels cargo shelf was originally 3D printed from plastic (the same type used in water bottles). But after meeting with a bike shop owner who loved the capabilities of the product but told me she would never buy it because it was made of plastic, it hit me hard. Why are we making this from plastic? So, two years ago, we made a complete shift to bamboo and now only offer eco-friendly bicycle accessories that align with a sustainable ethos.


Transition of ZappaWheels cargo shelf; former plastic version (left) vs. to sustainable bamboo (right).


At ZappaWheels, we understand the importance of sustainability in everything we do. That's why we've developed a line of eco-friendly bicycle accessories that prioritize planet-conscious designs. In an era where so many bicycle accessories are made from plastic, which is not a green activity and is contrary to the ethos of cycling, we strive to offer alternatives that align with our commitment to environmental responsibility. From our new eco-friendly removable wooden bicycle crate made from environmentally friendly wood to bungee cords made from recycled inner tubes, every item in our collection is crafted with the environment in mind.

Celebrate Earth Day Every Day with ZappaWheels

As advocates for sustainability, we believe in the power of collective action. By choosing eco-friendly bicycle products, you're not only investing in quality gear but also supporting a greener future for generations to come. Together, we can pedal towards a more sustainable world, one revolution at a time.


Consider making a difference with your purchasing decisions by choosing products that prioritize sustainability and reflect your commitment to the planet. Join us at ZappaWheels as we celebrate Earth Day every day, riding towards a greener future with our eco-friendly bicycle products. And that’s not all. We would like to hear your thoughts and suggestions on other ways to introduce more sustainability into bicycle accessories. From material choice to product design to product distribution, we would welcome hearing from you. Feel free to post in the comment section below or email your comments and ideas directly to me at john@zappawheels.com.


Conclusion

Earth Day serves as a reminder of the importance of environmental stewardship and the collective effort needed to protect our planet. By incorporating eco-friendly practices into our daily lives, such as cycling and choosing sustainable products, we can make a positive impact on the world around us. At ZappaWheels, we're proud to be part of this movement towards a more sustainable future, and invite you to join us on this journey.

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