Reduce, reuse, bicycle: Office of Sustainability hosts second-hand bike sale

Students were given the chance to purchase used bikes in an effort to promote a more environmentally aware campus.

Kelley Simon, a 2022 geography and urban studies alumna who works with Temple’s Office of Sustainability, pumps a bike tire at the second-hand bike sale in the basement of Pearson Hall. | NOEL CHACKO / THE TEMPLE NEWS

For many Temple University students, commuting to campus can be challenging. Slow trains, crowded buses and expensive parking are all issues that come with traveling to Temple and going off campus. 

“Students should ride a bike and explore the city, it’s the best way by far,” said Kelley Simon, a 2022 geography and urban studies alumna who works with Temple’s Office of Sustainability. 

The office held its first second-hand bicycle sale on Wednesday afternoon at Pearson Hall aimed at giving Temple students access to more affordable and environmentally-conscious transportation. The sale featured 13 bikes that were found abandoned on campus by past students, and were then collected and restored by student workers at the office. 

One of the main goals of the event was to give students access to more economical means of transportation, said Bryce Forys, Temple’s sustainability coordinator.

Nikki Ivan, a sophomore environmental studies major, purchased a bike at the sale because of how hard it is to travel throughout the city. 

“It’s difficult to get to places that aren’t on the Broad Street or Market-Frankford line,” Ivan said. 

The average new road bike costs between $350 and $700, according to Bicycle Universe. However, bikes on sale Wednesday did not exceed $125, Forys said. 

“Bikes can be pretty expensive, so we wanted to give them cheaper access to their own sort of transportation,” Forys said. 

The sale was also intended to promote environmental sustainability on campus. Using bikes instead of cars lowers emission rates. Motor vehicles account for up to 60 percent of the total air pollution in Philadelphia, according to the Clean Air Council. 

Temple’s climate action plan includes increasing the number of commuters who use sustainable modes of transportation by 75 percent and reducing the number of single occupancy vehicles by 10 percent by 2025. 

“It’s a zero emission mode of transportation, so getting more people on bikes rather than cars is really our main goal,” Simon said. 

Ivan purchased a bike because she supports the sale’s goal of helping combat air pollution produced by cars. She hopes other students follow in her lead. 

“The sale makes people more aware of the different ways that they can get around the city as opposed to a car, so I think it definitely helps lower emissions overall,” Ivan said. 

Typically, buying second-hand products reduces waste, which in turn helps the environment the more people reduce, reuse and recycle, Forys said. 

“We’re really about creating a circular economy here in Philadelphia, so having all of these restored bikes prevents them from just going into the trash and allows them to find a new home,” Forys said. 

Simon recommends students take the Office of Sustainability’s Urban Riding Basics class to learn how to bike safely throughout the city. 

The organization plans to host more events like the sale in the future. Student workers are actively continuing to collect and restore bikes, and the bikes that were left over will be used for a future second-hand sale, Forys said. 

“Bikes are just one piece of the puzzle in achieving our climate goal,” Simon said. 

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