Over the last decade, the amount of people who bike to work has increased by 60%. More and more people are taking advantage of the eco-friendly option of bike-sharing services across major cities. Lime, Jump, and Ofo are just a few of the many services offering bike rentals in the city, but one major concern is surfacing: Safety. Although riders are encouraged to practice safe habits, the truth is that many commuters are not wearing their bike helmet, and the risk of serious injury is high.
Carrying and storing helmets is proving to not be a popular choice among city riders, which is putting people at risk. Seattle, one of the country's biggest bike-share hotspots, has seen minimal increases in the amount of riders using helmets, which gives a discouraging presumption for the rest of the country. But now, thanks to EcoHelmet's paper bike helmets, things are about to change. Bringing your helmet with you is going to be easy, affordable, and (hopefully) an important new addition to riders' routines.
EcoHelmet: Recyclable, Single-Use Paper Bike Helmets
For riders, a bike helmet may not be the most comfortable aspect of their commute. Bulky and difficult to store, traditional helmets lack popularity among riders, with many of them taking the safety risk just to avoid wearing one. Drawing on statistics, they argue that people are more likely to have a serious head injury from walking around town or even riding in a car. While those statistics may line up, they still don't take into account the severity of injury from riding around the city without a helmet.
In order to make bike helmet usage more appealing, EcoHelmet created their own model made from recycled paper. At first mention, it seems ludicrous to use a helmet made of paper, but lab testing proves this model to be a safe, easily-transportable alternative. Plus, it's incredibly cost-effective, and gives riders the option to recycle them after a single use. No more need to store them or lock them up while you're at your destination!
EcoHelmet can be folded down to easily fit into a backpack or purse.
According to their website, EcoHelmet has found that roughly 90% of all bike-share users don't wear helmets. Their company's mission is to increase the amount of riders who use helmets, and provide a safe, comfortable way to do so. They want cyclists around the cities to feel confident in their safety during their commutes.
Each helmet is made from waterproof recycled paper. In order to withstand a blow, EcoHelmet constructs their helmets in a radial honeycomb pattern. The result is a foldable helmet that can withstand a blow from any direction equally as well as a traditional polystyrene helmet. Plus, each helmet is one-size-fits-all, and can be folded down to fit into a backpack no problem.
Using recyclable paper bike helmets from EcoHelmet is a great way to cut down on harmful environmental impact. A traditional styrofoam helmet takes roughly 500 years to break down when thrown away. With these paper helmets, riders can rest assured that their helmets are immediately recycled to make more of the same kind. The environmental impact is huge, and it is an easy transition for anyone who rides.
The Perks of Using Bike-Share Systems
If your commute around town is fairly short, using a bike-share system may be a great commuting alternative for you. With the growing popularity of companies like Lime and Jump, finding a bike to ride is effortless, and an awesome way to reduce your carbon footprint. Plus, you don't need to pay for parking or storage, and you'll even be able to sneak in your workout without a second thought!
Whether you're new to the bike-sharing scene or have been riding around town for ages, it's worth looking to see if this method of commuting might fit your lifestyle. Typically, users can rent out a bike from any nearby station with a membership in app, or a credit or debit card. Each bike usually sports a basket for belongings, fenders, and lights to make sure riders are safe and visible on the roads. Once their journey is complete, riders can simply drop their bike off at any designated dock.
Riding bikes around the city is a much safer commuter experience, thanks to the integrated bike-share programs.
Bike-share systems are also cost-friendly options for people looking to save money on their commute. Instead of owning a car or hopping in an Uber or Lyft, bike-share rentals can cut your costs way down. For example, renting a bike from Lime costs only $1 to unlock, and then just 5 cents per minute after that. Or, riders can opt for their subscription price of $14.95, which allows for 100 rides in a 30-day period.
For major cities like Seattle, bike-share systems are also cutting down on commuter traffic. Newly designed bike lanes and effective signage allow for increased rider safety, making it more attractive to the population. Instead of everyone driving to work in their own car, bike-share and ride-share services are decreasing the amount of cars on the road, reducing traffic and the population's carbon footprint.
In the next couple of years, we can expect to see bike-share systems expand into other major cities across the globe. Right now, the biggest hurdle is getting people to adopt the system and leave their cars at home. According to StreetsBlog, that might be a long process, considering 54% of Americans avoid riding bikes due to a fear of being hit by a car or truck.
They say old habits die hard, but consciously making an effort to put on a bike helmet before you ride is a safety-must. It can protect you from life-threatening injuries, and with EcoHelmet's paper bike helmets, the transition is easy and convenient. Just unfold, put on, and pedal away!