Commuting for the Bears

by Hunter Veeneman, Glacier Run Keeper

Bicycle commuters are some of the unsung heroes in the conservation community. Taking the initiative to ride rather than drive for many day-to-day activities such as biking to work or running errands adds up in a big way.

Illustrating this impact on the environment was the goal of the Bike Commute Challenge in the month of September. Nine nationwide zoo teams and more than 90 other participants decided to drop their keys and pick up their bikes in a nationwide effort to reduce carbon emissions. In one month, these individuals logged more than 7,600 miles, or to put it in perspective, more miles than riding from the state of Washington to the southern most point of Florida and back. The challenge alone eliminated over 6,000 lbs. of CO2 emissions on behalf of Polar Bear Conservation, with calories being the only thing burned in the process.

Your Louisville Zoo team only had five participants, but they logged 899.7 miles commuting to and from work in the month of September alone. Along with myself, team members included Patrick Gage, Tracy Parke, Matt Lahm and Dan Cole. It is not always easy to get up just a little earlier and brave the elements to make a difference, so bicycle commuters around the country deserve praise. They not only spearhead campaigns to make cities more bike-friendly but “bike” the talk by using resources like biking trails to make their communities a better place.