Maryland-based organization Bikes for the World diverts thousands of bicycles annually from the U.S. waste stream. By rescuing and refurbishing old bikes and parts, Bikes for the World sends these re-assembled and reconditioned bikes internationally.
A bike is an economical and environmentally sustainable mode of transportation, and one that can enhance the productivity of low-income people affordably and quickly. Over the course of ten years, the organization has collected and reused three-million pounds of steel and aluminum, half-million tubes and tires, and four-and-half-million spokes from going to the waste stream. The organization has helped bring over 100,000 bikes to low-income nations.
Not only does Bikes for the World endorse the message of recycling, but it does so in a way to benefit others that are far less fortunate. As bikes are the most-sustainable mode of transportation, each bike can help save the environment and transform a life. A bike can get someone where they need to be four times faster than walking; therefore, allowing a person to seek out more jobs by lengthening their radius.
Bikes for the World is one effort that is making a big difference worldwide. The volunteers are passionate about making a more sustainable world by getting more people on bikes. Ultimately, by getting more people on bikes, traffic would be reduced. According to the Departments of General Services, cars produce .97 pounds of pollution per mile annually, while bikes produce none (Partlow).
Although, Bikes for the World is based out of the Washington DC area, the organization has established satellite efforts in Pittsburgh, Charleston, S.C., and New York. Bikes for the World is fueled by volunteers, and is always looking for people to get involved and refurbish the bikes. People are more than welcome to donate their bikes to Bikes for the World, or organize their own bike drives for the organization.
Another lesson to be learned is to remember that bikes are the most environmentally-sustainable mode of transportation. If you want to help make a difference in the environment, start riding a bike. Not only are you helping the environment, but you are saving money and getting places fast. Bikes for the World takes advantage of this, and gets more people in low-income areas specifically, riding bikes to better their lives and the world.