Photo courtesy of Steve Babineau via Getty Images
In case you don’t know it, biking is the most efficient method of transportation ever invented. In fact, short distance motor-vehicle trips are the least fuel efficient and generate the most pollution per kilometer. And, while motor vehicle emissions represent 31% of total carbon dioxide emissions polluted, a short bicycle ride keeps 15 pounds of pollutants out of the air.
Andrew Ference, a National Hockey League (NHL) superstar with the Boston Bruins, had his “aha!” moment after meeting with David Suzuki, recognizing that it doesn’t take much to make small changes in our lives to create major collective impacts.
Andrew spearheaded a partnership between the NHL and the David Suzuki Foundation, forming the Carbon Neutral Challenge to inspire over 500 hockey players to offset their carbon emissions from travel. He went on to travel to the Gulf of Mexico, in July 2010, to speak up and raise awareness on the BP oil spill and our unquenched thirst for oil.
More astounding still, is Andrew’s personal dedication to change; he bikes to work every day to reduce his environmental impact. Biking instead of driving helps mitigate ozone depletion, air pollution, smog, and noise pollution.
The actions of offsetting and finding alternative ways of moving around have major positive impacts on our air, our climate and the future of our planet. His actions, though seemingly small, reach hundreds of thousands of fans, that he hopes will drive their cars less and pick up their bicycles.
“The macho thing about hockey is respect…that’s how I view changing your lifestyle and doing the right thing. It’s about respecting your kids and about the future generation. The most powerful thing to do when you want change is just to lead by example.”
– Andrew Ference
The 2008 launching of the Carbon Neutral Challenge between the NHL and the David Suzuki Foundation.
You can also watch Andrew’s own GreenHero profile video to learn more about his inspiring work and how he’s changing his life to reduce his environmental footprint. To learn how you can change the way you travel, start biking, and act yourself, visit our Pedal Power campaign page. Don’t forget to leave a comment on his profile page and the Pedal Power campaign page!
And to read more about players taking the Carbon Neutral Challenge, visit the NHLPA site here. For useful biking resources, visit the Toronto Cyclists’ Union site, which includes guides and route maps. Similar resources exist for major Canadian cities, including Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Quebec, and Halifax.
Do you ride your bike to work? Do you hop on your bike when you need to get somewhere? What are some of the benefits you’ve had from biking, and how do you see a better biking future? Share your story here for your chance to win a prize in our contest!
Remember – in the battle to save the planet, exercising your pedal power is key. Enter our contest to nominate a bike riding hero, highlighting the challenges they face and how they overcome them.
Let us know about your ride to work, how you envision a better biking future, or your efforts as a bicycle innovator, using bike-powered solutions to change the planet. Contest details, prizing, and more information can be found here.
GreenHeroes.tv is all about saving the planet, one story at a time. Do you have a great story to tell about how you're helping to make the world a greener place? Enter the contest to nominate a friend or yourself - you could be one of Canada's next GreenHeroes!