Mountain-Biking2

Bikes still make an impact on the earth. Learn how to green your ride

Sure, sweat-propelled activities are better for the environment than motorized ones, but that doesn't mean that our bikes, surfboards and skis don't have an impact on the earth. Raw materials, fossil fuels and energy go into every step of the process from manufacture and shipping to marketing and sales. Don't feel guilty, though—instead, there's something you can do.

Like a carbon offset, which compensates for burning fossil fuels by helping to remove or reduce carbon-dioxide pollution in other ways, Ride For Earth plants trees as way to counterbalance the environmental costs of our outdoor toys.

"We want to go beyond the service of planting trees and show young people that being green is fun,"  said Ride For Earth cofounder Maxim Popov, in a press release. "Youth and rebellion are great, but they don't exclude responsibility and care for the environment."

The organization's goal is to plant 10 million trees. The process is simple. Log onto rideforearth.com, pay 5 Euros (about $7) through PayPal, and a tree will be planted in Austria (Ride For Earth will soon start planting in Canada, too). As a bonus for your offset, you get stickers and the chance to win prizes.

Obviously, a lot of bikes and boards aren't made from wood, but for the Ride For Earth folks, that's beside the point. "Think of how it all started—the first surfboards, all the trees chopped down so you can snowboard, all the trees we use to jib on, our indoor skateparks or obstacles on snow, water and land," their website states. "There is a lot of wood involved—directly or indirectly."
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