Greenest, grandest Tour de France Grand Depart graces Yorkshire

If further proof that being green is an increasingly central element of our lives, just see how the Tour de France in Yorkshire is being billed as the greenest and grandest.

Tour de France - Yorkshire Grand Depart 2014

There has been wall to wall coverage of the fact that the world’s most inclusive sports event is starting in Leeds on Saturday (July 5th). The Grand Depart is sure to be a sporting and cultural highlight.

At the same time, the hosts have been underlining the environmentally positive shape of this year’s Grand Depart. Now, there is a balance to be struck here – simply because the Tour de France involves a lot of fossil fuel activity!

The riders are preceded in the race each day by the publicity caravan and followed by the officials’ and team cars.

But the green element that the Yorkshire organisation team is rightly proud of is that the whole Grand Départ operation is all commutable by foot or bike encapsulated in Leeds city centre. That helps greatly to reduce emissions and cut carbon footprint,.

Historically, many Grand Departs have required a lot of car travel and other fuel-focused transport because of to the dispersed locations of the start line, the race organiser’s village (ASO), the media village and so on.

In Leeds – and the other race start in York on Sunday – is all so close together and easily walkable. The start line is just outside Leeds town Hall with the ASO and media villages only five minutes away.

Galvanised  by the success of Le Tour The “Our Cycle Yorkshire” legacy programme also aims to give every child in Yorkshire the chance to access a bike in the next 10 years and to encourage general cycling participation, so reducing need to travel by car.

One day, I’m sure that we will see electric team cars and coaches as an integral part of the Tour de France and these will all be making best use of energy-efficient LED lights.

In the same way, the hotels and bed & breakfasts that are benefitting from the arrival of the world’s biggest sporting event should be looking to manage their utility expenditure by fitting LED lights in rooms, public areas and work areas – cutting their electricity bills for lighting by up to 90 per cent.

And, like one of our customers, The Green House bed & breakfast in Bristol, they can cut their water consumption by more than half by installing eco showers, eco taps and tap aerators. This saves energy used to heat and pump water – and if they are metered, see an immediate, impressive and sustainable bill reduction.

The Green House is also bike friendly – more good news for the planet as well as the pocket. Let’s hope the Tour de France Grand Depart also helps to promote the benefits of cycling and being green.

I’ll be there, cheering on the UK riders and enjoying the green ambience with my younger son, as well as riding some of the race courses. Wish us luck – it’s great to be green!



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