• Karly McMullen

Bike-to-Work Day: Keep the Car in Park to Reduce Microplastic Pollution

National Bike-To-Work Day is kicking off Friday, May 20th, 2022! With gas prices climbing and climate change on our minds, there’s never been a better time to ride to work.


Cyclists from around Canada and the United States are dusting off their bicycles in preparation for this Friday. The League of American Bicyclists started Bike-To-Work Day in 1956 to promote the health benefits of cycling to work, but the pros of peddling don’t stop there. Biking to work reduces your CO2 emissions, helps you avoid traffic, offers the chance to enjoy nature, and decreases your microplastic pollution!


The last point may surprise you. How does biking to work reduce microplastic pollution?


Scientists find that fragments of car tires (tire wear or tire dust) likely account for 5-10% of total plastics in the oceans. Pieces of car tires break off due to friction between heavy vehicles and road surfaces. This wear and tear creates secondary microplastics, small pieces of synthetic rubber, which are released onto the road and washed into waterways with the rain.


Replacing one trip a day from a car ride to a bike ride can make a huge difference. Bikes have a lighter load, smaller tires and use less braking force.


Research shows car tires create significantly more microplastics than other transportation-related parts.


The key is progress over perfection.



Reducing your microplastic pollution is one great reason you may opt to bike to work rather than drive, but there are many more benefits!


Researcher Dr. Christian Brand, of the University of Oxford, studies how to reduce carbon pollution in cities. He notes that switching one daily trip from a car to a bike could reduce your carbon emissions by 0.5 tonnes a year!


Studies show that improved mental health, general fitness, blood pressure, cardiovascular health and more come to those who cycle to work. The World Health Organization recommends at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week if you are able. Biking each day is a great way to get this fitness in!


Monday traffic got you down? Beat it by biking! Biking allows us to enjoy the nature around us, to curiously observe what we pass by!


“I find it clears my mind to ride in every morning. It reduces my carbon footprint. It saves me money on the rising costs of gas and parking. And finally, it's just fun and relaxing to listen to a podcast and ride,” Jarrett Little.

As an environmental impact company, we care about the world around us. Ocean Diagnostics’ Senior Mechatronics Engineer, Jarrett Little, bikes to work every day, rain or shine.


We asked why he does it and he gave us not one, but four motivating reasons:


“I find it clears my mind to ride in every morning. It reduces my carbon footprint. It saves me money on the rising costs of gas and parking. And finally, it's just fun and relaxing to listen to a podcast and ride,” Jarrett Little.


Our everyday activities contribute to our environmental impact and to microplastic pollution.


You may be surprised to find out where other microplastics come from. Clothing, for example, is one large contributor to microplastic pollution.


Read about the problem to understand how you can limit your microplastic pollution. Check out our fact sheet here.


Bonus challenge: While biking to work this week, we challenge you to be curious about your surroundings. Take a mental note of five different things you see!


Don’t forget to be safe when biking! Keep a cautious distance from cars and always wear your helmet!




 

About Us


Ocean Diagnostics Inc. is an environmental impact company that develops technologies, laboratory capabilities and citizen science tools to standardize microplastics data collection and analysis. The company works closely with academic and government partners to diagnose and protect our planet from the threats of plastic pollution and biodiversity loss.

39 views0 comments