I have a perfect example of how small steps to do good—which this site is dedicated to—can and do add up. My place of employment has a health rewards program, and one of the components is biking to work. You equip your bike with an RFID tag, bike to work and past a tower, and “zap!” it gives you a point for that day. So many points equals money back on your health insurance premiums. These kinds of incentives were a little known part of the Affordable Care Act--what a great idea! The program is literally called Zap and is offered by this cool company called Dero.
I used to bike to work all the time, even in the winter. And while this bit of good is a little outside my own guideline for this site’s “make a pledge to do something good you wouldn’t normally do,” I’ve been slacking lately. This year I hit the winter wall and just haven’t been able to commit—I'm getting old and weak. But yesterday I biked again and I’m recommitting. I also checked in on my progress over the last 4 years or so of biking to work. Look at these stats!
I burned 200,000 calories just biking to work! And it takes me only about 5 minutes longer than driving. But I also saved 230 gallons of gas in my 535 trips* and helped out the environment! I am badass!
And not only is biking good for the environment, it’s great for the economy! A new study out last month showed that in 2014, the bicycling industry generated $778 million of economic activity in Minnesota, which includes $209 million of labor income and 5,519 jobs. Between 87 million and 96 million bicycle trips are made annually for commuting and recreation. Get this though: only about 2-3% of people bike to work. Imagine if we all hopped on bikes?
Bicycling (and exercise in general) also lowers the risk of many diseases, but most significantly obesity, hypertension, heart disease, and diabetes. Basically, I'm going to LIVE FOREVER!
*I biked for a few years before the program began, so I would guess I'm at about 800 trips or so overall.
P.S. You don't have to bike, but make a pledge to do good!