Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Reduce your carbon footprint with personalized delivery from a Bike Messenger!

    Carbon footprint has become a buzz word the world over. UK-based Carbon Footprint defines it as "a measure of the impact our activities have on the environment, and in particular climate change. It relates to the amount of greenhouse gases produced in our day-to-day lives through burning fossil fuels for electricity, heating and transportation, etc." Just google "carbon footprint" and several sites will offer calculators to help you monitor your contribution to carbon emissions, and to aid you in reducing the same. 
     Businesses have also made carbon offsetting part of their thrust. Airline companies offer customers the chance to offset their share in the carbon emission entailed by the airway travel for minimal additional fees. An ingenious form of offsetting is widely practiced in Europe today in the form of Emissions trading ("cap and trade"). Under this system, government sets a cap on the amount of pollutant which a company may emit. Companies which emit pollution below the cap are allowed to trade their 'credits' with companies which need an increase in the emission allowance based on the cap set. This carbon emissions market is gaining momentum around the world, with the market growing 75%  from 2007 to 2008 ($116 billion).
     In the Philippines, the UNDP lists 12 simple things we can do to reduce our carbon footprint. This holiday season, try out using the services of these bike messengers for your gift delivery needs. Not only will you save yourself time from plowing through the characteristic traffic jam of Christmas time, you will also help save the environment along the way.

Pedala Bike Messengers, Inc. is a social enterprise which offers cost-effective, SAME-DAY courier delivery services. Formed in July 2008 by University of the Philippines mountaineer Candy Reyes, Pedala employs cyclists who are well familiar with steering through the urban jungle known as the roads of Metro Manila. Pedala charges Php70 for one-way deliveries and Php120 for roundtrip deliveries within a city. If the delivery entails crossing different cities, just add Php30 to the respective prices above.
      In an interview with Sam L. Marcelo of Business World Online, Pedala owner, Candy Reyes, shares her pride not only in their same-day delivery service (which no other courier outfit can offer in the metro), but also in Pedala offering "a more personal and caring delivery service." Packages, she said, are not thrown into big pile, with stuff going on top of each other. "With us, clients get to talk face-to-face to the person who hand-delivers their items."
     Pedala has no website yet, so just text +639206987777 or email pedalabikemessengers@gmail.com to book a bike messenger for your delivery needs.
     Aside from the immediately discernible environmental aspect of the service, Candy also hopes to bring attention to the very engineering of Philippine cities. "We want to make buildings and streets more bike-friendly. Why not allow bikes to temporarily park in front of buildings? How about free and secure bike parking areas, or more bike lanes?" she said.
     This "very engineering" of Philippine cities itself does contribute to environmental dagradation in more ways than one - but that is a proper subject for another blog.

     This Cebu City-based courier was formed in December 2008 by a bunch of bike-outdoors-and-environment-lovers who call themselves bugoy bikers. Eco Bicycle Courier offers its services within Cebu City, Mactan, and Mandaue. Standard and Express Rates are Php 50 (plus Php30 for roundtrip) and Php 80 (plus Php40 for roundtrip), respectively.

    Of course the downside is that your package has to be small enough to fit in the bikers' backpacks and messenger bags. We can all imagine how plying the roads with a sidecar would be less effective in terms of speed and mobility. Perhaps for bigger items we just have to wait until hybrid cars become in fashion so that it will be cost-effective for businesses too. For now, try out these bike messengers. Hopefully you'll love the service enough to make it a habit all year through!

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