Bike with panniers

105: Cycle to the supermarket

Cost of taking action: £/$/€ SAVES MONEY

From our guest writer Paul in Holland

Think afresh about those short trips to the shop

Bike to the supermarket

Next time you get in the car to go to the supermarket, please ask yourself, “Do I really need to take the car?”

By not taking the car you will not just be helping the planet, but you will be helping your bank account and health too!

Modern life

There is no getting around it, as a society we like our conveniences. But driving to the supermarket? Well, that might just be one we can all benefit from by reducing.

If someone were to suggest to you to jump on the bike and not jump in the car, are your first thoughts likely to be negative?

“I can’t do that, my shopping is too heavy”
“I can’t do that, I don’t have time”
“I can’t do that, I have better things to do”

With a little bit of a shift in perspective, you might stop thinking of it as losing a convenience, and more like gaining something else.

A positive switch

So what are we gaining by doing it? Here are a few things to get you thinking

  • Save the planet – less CO2, fewer fossil fuels. The benefits to the planet are obvious!
  • Save car running costs – all those trips add up. Not just fossil fuels, but other running costs too. Those trips to the shops can really add up over the year!
  • Less wasted time – Eh? Wasn’t that a negative! Using a bike is MORE wasted time surely? This is that perfect shift in perspective I mentioned. Using the bike is more exercise, fresh air and you are active all throughout. You aren’t sitting in a car, following other cars, stuck at lights, in a jam, or looking for a parking spot, or parking. Aren’t all those things more of a waste of time?
  • Get what you need – which means less waste. Yep, sure, in a car you can take more. But how much of that do you waste a week? When you cycle, you start thinking more, choosing things you really need.
  • Improve your mental and physical health
Bike with panniers
Click for large image

Still not convinced? Well, here are some tips to get you started:

  • Reduce the number of car trips slowly. You don’t have to stop using the car altogether or immediately, but you could use the bike instead for some of them; like when you forget to get the limes. Don’t jump in the car, jump on the bike.
  • Bike bags are cool! In the photos, you can see how some bike bags/panniers are actually really handy for shopping. These ones are waterproof and latch onto the side of the shopping trolley
  • Short trips? Just take a rucksack

Home Delivery

There is increased use of home delivery services at the moment, which is taking grocery shopping to the next level of convenience. But is this benefitting the planet … or just the supermarkets?

Click for large image

Rather than answer that question in this post, if you do use this kind of service, then let’s consider how that could be used in conjunction with biking to the supermarket. Maybe you could say, “I will use the service for the big stuff. But those in-between supermarket visits? Well, for those I will use the bike”.

A simple switch like that can make an impact.

Take action

This action takes a little bit of self discipline … cycle those short shopping trips instead of using a car. If lots of us do this, we can make a significant difference to our carbon emissions, health and finances. What’s not to like?!

This article has been contributed by
Paul Waye
Insta: @wayeoflife
Twitter: @wayeoflife

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