Rolling Toward a Greener Future

Cycling is a zero-emissions activity, but a large-scale ride like the TD Five Boro Bike Tour is not. That’s why, in 2014, we implemented initiatives to make the Tour greener. For 2016, we’re setting the bar even higher.


Astoria tree planting


In 2014, Bike New York embarked on an epic journey down a sustainable path. It was the first time a large-scale event in New York was certified as a waste-conscious, sustainable event; in short, we nailed it. The task was a momentous one, and required the support of numerous City agencies and nonprofits and the help of thousands of invaluable volunteers. As a result of our efforts, the Tour was awarded Silver-level certification by the Council for Responsible Sport, a nonprofit that recognizes sporting events that promote and demonstrate environmentally and socially responsible measures to reduce the environmental footprint within the event’s host community. As we approach the 2016 tour, we are already in the process of improving our efforts to reduce waste and increase accountability.


In order to be certified, Bike New York has:

  • Partnered with the New York Restoration Project to plant trees in Astoria Park, a rest area along the route of the Tour.
  • Worked with Grow NYC, the New York City Department of Sanitation, and the NYC Compost Project to divert 83.9% of waste from landfill.
    • 10.3% of waste was composted.
    • 73.6% was recycled.
  • Collaborated with the City’s Department of Environmental Protection to provide fresh NYC drinking water, thereby eliminating the use of more than 4,400 gallons worth of bottled water.
  • Provided cyclists with an eco-friendly Rider Identification Kit, with an UltraGreen bike plate, reusable helmet cover, and Tyvek bib.
  • Produced 3,000 organic cotton T-shirts for staff and volunteers.
  • Donated all leftover food to City Harvest, a local nonprofit dedicated to feeding New York’s hungry.
  • Partnered with a local, 100% wind-powered vendor to print all 35,000 Tour Programs on 100% Forest Stewardship Council-certified paper.


Our hope is that this certification will encourage other organizations and events to join us in going green. The Tour is the first event in New York City to be certified, and we look forward to the day when being sustainable is the rule, not the exception, and certification is a thing of the past.