Once again I’m focusing back on the Netherlands and its incredible culture built around cycling. I’m sharing a post by Tess Taylor published on Conde Nast Traveler.
It’s an understatement to talk about how important bicycling is to the Dutch. It is really their major form of transportation. And as Taylor mentions in her article, the Dutch have repurposed old highways, bridges, and gas stations for the use of bicyclists in order to get out to the countryside from Amsterdam.
She mentions how she and her husband obtained their bikes at the main train station, hopped on a ferry, then arrived in the countryside to ride past dikes and polders. Along the way, they encountered other cyclists and families out for a day-long adventure as well as some Dutch history.
Climate change is becoming a major problem. Unless human beings can curve their emissions and the amount of carbon we dump into the atmosphere, scientists are predicting the eventual mass extinction of humans or at least a “global climate catastrophe.”
Right now, the planet is teetering on a 1.5 Celsius increase in warming. Anything above that, it will become increasingly difficult for humans to sustain themselves and survive. All around the world, we all must start now to use alternative fuel and energy sources.
In the Netherlands, cycling is encouraged not only for health reasons but to reduce car bottlenecks. On its government website, it’s stated that most car trips are 7.5 kilometers (less than 5 miles) or as long as 15 kilometers (less than 10 miles), both distances easily covered by bike.
That is why the government is focusing on “Cycle Superhighways” that link to destinations not only within a city but distances between cities. And many employers in the Netherlands even pay their employees a tax-free mileage allowance of 0.19 euros ( or 19 cents in U.S. money) if they use a bike to commute to work.
This post is my call for us all to be more mindful and aware of what is happening to the earth, the place we all must inhabit and live, hopefully, in harmony together. Ride a bike, walk, take a bus, a train, or a tram. Use solar energy sources when you can.
It’s not true to say or think “I’m just one person, what I do won’t make a difference.” That’s nonsense. Every small thing we do or don’t do contributes in the end. How we choose to live is important, and we still have time to do some good.