Forwarded some of this thread with a sustainability engineer friend at the Urban Green Council (one of the Dancing Rabbit founders!), and this is his 2c.

The hard part if you're looking for a grant is to figure out what portion of the bike trips were due to your efforts. Not all cycling trips are carbon savings thanks to the grant, just some.

Their numbers below indicate carbon pricing of $18-117/ton (actually, they are loosey goosey with tons vs metric tonnes, so I wouldn't be too sure of that, but anyway it's only a factor of 2 which doesn't matter).

Some people think carbon will eventually be priced at $60/ton. Without cap and trade, though, they are currently worth nothing in the US (Terrapass is $6/ton, so buying them in bulk is probably less than $1/ton; the wholesale/retail split is usually about 10:1).

If you are trying to sell carbon reduction for grantmaker the key sentence below is "I would gladly trade $10,000 cash for the $20,000 value you were offering (provided I had no better alternatives)." This grant would be compared against other carbon-reducing options on a $/ton basis.

On Mon, Dec 9, 2013 at 4:13 PM, james bledsoe <> wrote:
Thread jump can be frustrating.
below is a re-posting 

Taking an average of 25 mpg   and 20 pounds of CO2  per gallon burnt,  riding a bike 25 miles should earn 20 carbon credits. This is like bitcoin and time dollars.  A system of reliably recording a cyclist mileage could be used to verify the value of these potential units of exchange.  So the grant could be to develop the "system" that will allow any cyclist to earn credits for doing the correct and socially responsible thing. 
Our collective  missions i am supposing is to replace the private automobile as the primary transportation choice on the planet.  We do this one bike at a time.  By creating programs that acknowledge the actual distance that each bicycle is ridden and then assigning carbon credits to each mile we can "invalue" a currency  the carbon credit.  Call them C-Bucks like a bit coin that is created by letting giant computers crunch numbers we have agreed that that makes them valuable.  If we can use that as a basis for trade why not the use of a bicycle and the intrinsic contribution to our ridding.   Print C-Bucks and create methods for verifying distances ridden and then pay our selves for riding.   20 C-Bucks for 25 miles  or .80 C-Bucks per mile.

On Monday, December 9, 2013 11:18 AM, "Martin, Eric Vance" <> wrote:
An intriguing use of the result of a calculation like this would be to calculate the value of the carbon emissions avoided on the global carbon market (as is done the article cited below). This gives you an instant ability to value the investment of the grant. The cost-benefit analysis is pretty coarse. But if you were reliably promising $20,000 of carbon avoided in the next year, and I were an agency whose job it was to produce public goods via grants, I would gladly trade $10,000 cash for the $20,000 value you were offering (provided I had no better alternatives).

Massink, R., Zuidgeest, M., Rijnsburger, J., Sarmiento, O. L., & van Maarseveen, M. (2011). The Climate Value of Cycling. Natural Resources Forum, 35(2), 100-111. doi:10.1111/j.1477-8947.2011.01345.x

The reduction of CO emissions constitutes one of the largest challenges of the current era. Sustainable transportation, and especially cycling, can contribute to the mitigation of CO emissions since cycling possesses an intrinsic zero-emission value. Few studies have been conducted that appraise the CO reduction potential of cycling. Opportunity costs enable the estimation of avoided CO emissions resulting from bicycle trips. The methodology developed in this research allows the attribution of a climate value to cycling by substituting bicycle trips with their most likely alternative transportation modes and calculating the resulting additional CO emissions. The methodology uses data on the current modal shares of cycling mobility, the competition of cycling with other transportation modes, and CO emission factors to calculate the climate value of cycling. When it is assumed that the avoided CO emissions of cycling mobility could be traded on financial carbon markets, the climate value of cycling represents a monetary value. Application of the methodology to the case of Bogotá, Colombia - a city with a current bicycle modal share of 3.3% on a total of 10 million daily trips - results in a climate value of cycling of 55,115 tons of CO per year, corresponding to an economic value of between 1 and 7 million US dollars when traded on the carbon market.

From: [] on behalf of Martin, Eric Vance
Sent: Monday, December 09, 2013 1:55 PM
To: The Think Tank
Subject: Re: [TheThinkTank] Measuring carbon emission reduction or car use reduction

There really should be an online tool for doing this problem with the best available estimates, but I'm not aware of any.

Super rough idea:

There is an estimate of the difference in carbon emission per passenger km between (european) automobile and bicycle here:

Most bike trips will be approximately 10 km or less (is that right?). The average bike trip in the US was 3.9 miles in the summer months in 2002. Maybe longer now with better infrastructure. Google this for Canada? Really you'd need to find an average trip length for the whole year to make the calculation simpler.

You would need to estimate the number of one-person trips of the approximate maximum bikeable length or less that a typical person might substitute bike for car as the mode in, say, a year with their new bike. Key here is typical or average. Not everyone who acquires a bike is going to make all bikeable trips by bike. (You might be able to get an estimate of bicycle owners' typical number of bicycle trips per week by extrapolating from the Decima study of Toronto cited here:

Calculate the total number of person-kilometers in likely-bicycled trips per year. Then calculate the carbon emission for both car and bike. Calculate the difference. Then multiply that times the number of people affected (number of bikes you made available to people?).

That's the carbon saved.

Can someone check my thought process?

In reality, the numbers are so small that they will be within the margin of error at the population level, but it doesn't hurt to estimate. There may in fact be a real savings.

From: [] on behalf of La Bikery []
Sent: Monday, December 09, 2013 12:37 PM
To: The Think Tank
Subject: [TheThinkTank] Measuring carbon emission reduction or car use reduction

Hello Friends,

We are in the process of applying for a grant and want to make a case that we contribute to a reduction in CO2 emissions and reduction in car use.  Does anyone have experience or ideas about how we might be able to measure our impact on that specific issue?



Coopérative La Bikery Co-operative 
Centre de vélo communautaire /Community Bicycle Centre
120 boul. Assomption blvd, Moncton NB

Jeudis: 17 h à 20 h/Thursdays pm-8pm
Samedis 11 h à 14 h/Saturdays 11am-2pm

Thethinktank mailing list
To unsubscribe, send a blank email to
To manage your subscription, plase visit:

Thethinktank mailing list
To unsubscribe, send a blank email to
To manage your subscription, plase visit: