“Greenwashing” is when a company wants to appear “green.” They put a green leaf on their packaging, or they say that their product is “eco-friendly” or “natural” (plastic is also natural). However, these companies do not back up their claims of being green with any data or environmental studies.
When I was the Environmental Manager at Tenaya Lodge, I was cautious to “do what I preach.” As a co-owner of Pedal Forward Bikes & Adventure, I have that same commitment.
Since day one, I have been very concerned with operating our business responsibly and with whom we will do business. I have been happy to find bike companies doing their part with solid sustainability goals and practices.
Companies like PNW refuse to use any plastic in their packaging, and Portland Design Works partners with ecological non-profits by sending part of their profits to support these organizations.
Also, at Pedal Forward Bikes & Adventure, we use solvents and cleaners that are 100% biodegradable, like Simple Green, plant-based chain lubes from Mountain Flow. We are considering reducing our water consumption with an Eco-parts washer with biodegradable solvents and a bike wash cleaner from Muc-off.
- We buy locally and invest locally: Every time we have to make t-shirts, signs, get coffee, or anything for the shop, we first search to work with small local businesses like us, as we stated in our commitment.
2. We purchase bamboo toilet paper and paper towels with oils, but we also reuse and wash our shop rags.
3. We invest in our community: we are working with the board from the Ahwahnee hills park to grant access for bikes, especially for kids and people that start riding. We are active participants in trail maintenance with Yosemite South Gate Trails Co-Op.
4. To bring kids and families together for a fun day of riding, we organized the Mountain Area Bike Rodeo, working together with the Mountain Christian Center.
5. We are in constant conversation with landowners to build new mountain bike trails in the area.
6. We Refuse and Reuse as we said to our customers, “we fix first and replace it if it is not fixable,” we offer used parts that are in good condition, we receive used bikes in any conditions to reuse the components or fix old bikes. We donate it to somebody in need of one.
7. We reuse bike boxes to ship customers bikes and the foams and bubble wrap that come with them.
8. We also recycle!!! Yes, we do, and we collect the data! Below is a review of our results:
Pedal Forward Waste Metrics 2020-2021
Our total waste of trash and recyclables was 2,330.7 Lbs. This equals 100% of our waste. From this waste, the total trash that goes into a landfill is 151.9 Lbs; This is only 6.5% of our waste.
Our total diversion (total of all recyclables) is 2,178.8 lbs. This gives us a diversion percentage of 93.5%.
At 93% diversion Pedal Forward Bikes & Adventure is attaining “Zero Waste” standards, as more than 90% of our waste is diverted.
What do we need to do to keep improving our sustainability goals?
We need to focus on working with companies that have the same sustainability goals as us. For example, during the Sea Otter festival, I just had a conversation with the Director of Fox Racing North America about their products’ excessive packaging. We need to start these conversations to show our manufacturers that we care.
For Pedal Forward Bikes & Adventure, there is still room for improvement, and we are going to continue to buy smart and put our money where it matters to make a difference.
Like I said at the beginning of this blog, we are not greenwashing. The only greenwashing we do here is when we use Simply Green degreaser to clean parts.