Would you put salt in your coffee?

A mini rant… ehm ehm!… an observation I mean…

I saw this poster for Bike Week not long ago, graphic geek that I am I quite liked the artwork and the geometry of it…

Then my eye dropped on this tiny little detail…

… how did I not anticipate that a huge gasoline/oil/black gold magnate as EDF Energy would want to up its PR of looking sustainable by funding Team Green Britain Bike Week… I find it a tad hypocrite though (to say the least) especially when it’s spinned under the electricity ‘umbrella’ only… sorry!

We all use gas and electricity, that’s fine, I am not fool and I am well aware of the global consequences this bring, I try to do my best and balance things as much as I can (try to keep the heating as low as possible, giving up owning a car, cycling more etc), I am not green angel but I try my hardest not to be a hypocrite. But this to me sounds more like a wolf in sheep’s clothing…

…Cars need petrol, ok… but not bikes… they are propelled by people power/pedal power (they don’t even need nuclear energy or even wind or solar energy… they just need just a bit of physical activity, feet pushing for continuous wheel revolution)… so what’s EDF got to do with Bike Week???

I mean it’s like putting salt in your coffee right????

Right, rant over… observation over… normal cycling posts to resume soon 😉


14 responses to “Would you put salt in your coffee?

  1. Well at least you had posters – nothing in Sheffield, not even the council’s newsletter/magazine telling people to get about and about in the summer mentioned bike week. I say if an energy company want’s to pay lip service to “green issues” by throwing a few pennies at it, it’s better than nothing at all, but the whole connecting cycling with team green britain message is totally flawed and highly condescending. Even the green party struggles to get it’s members to cycle. Cycling has to be sold as aspirational, not worthy.

    • I know, and a good poster at that (for me anyway) but when I read the website and its info on the activies, a part from one page (which I linked to), there was nothing about EDF major role in this… I am so fed up with this hypocrite attitude of sweeping stuff under the carpet… I was very excited about bike week and talking to friends and family, but I am utterly disappointed (once again)…

      I really agree with you, cycling has to be aspirational and inspirational too, but most importantly must not to be used for a cheap PR/marketing exercise so that an oil magnate as big as EDF can look better and score green points!

      I felt cheated because cycling for me is a way to move away from fossil fuel (transportation wise) dependency and it felt completely undermined by the ‘discovery’ of this…

      • Maybe EDF is setting up a chain lubricant division using by-products from the oil division.

        Seriously though, I think they were a part of Bike Week in order to keep cycling marginalised. Whilst bike week may be trying to promote cycling to people who don’t usually cycle, EDF probably hopes to use it to further marginalise cycling by promoting a solitary week of token “doing my bit” cycling, rather than helping people come to the conclusion that cycling is the best way to get around for the majority of journeys.

        If EDF really wanted to promote cycling, they would lobby for the changes to infrastructure we need to make cycling (and walking) more viable to more people; 20 mph in all urban areas, no further increasing capacity for motor traffic, reduce the amount of on-street parking and use the space to create Dutch-style cycle facilities, replace traffic lights which don’t detect bikes, replace larger roundabouts with traffic lights, remove pedestrian cattle pens on traffic islands and at roadsides (maybe not at school exits), continental bike favouring liability for cars in all bike-car collisions (and push back the victim blame culture we have for all altercations between cars and people/people on bikes) and increase the time allocated to pedestrians at crossings (to name a few).

      • Indeed! But like we said before it didn’t even seem marketed to wannabes cyclists, yet people who already cycle (you said you saw leaflets pinned to bikes) I saw none on cars windscreens, bus stops etc… I only came across it from others who, already keen cyclists, took the work challenges set up by other cyclists *doh!*….

        Unfortunately I don’t think these kind of businesses will ever have the good of the people at heart, they are there to make money and if by lending some money, setting up some ‘green’ activity they get some brownie points along the way then their goal is achieved…

        now… to go back to an old ‘observation’… I instead WOULD LOVE to see Royal Mail see sense and stop the phasing out of the postie bikes… if they got behind lobbying for good, safe infrastructure I really thing we could see some real positive changes…

  2. It’s as bad as McDonald’s sponsoring the World Cup. Greasy burgers and fitness – it makes no sense at all!

    • That is crazy too… you wanna know an even crazier thing? Back in my home country (Italy) a while ago the government (!!) got together with big Mc to create McItaly!!!!!!!!!!!! A country with the finest food (sorry, I know I am not very objective) from which the slow food movement was born… its own government supporting instead big Mc…. how sad, so very sad!

      • “We want to give an imprint of Italian flavours to our youngsters” – Luca Zaia, Minister of Agriculture

        Shame on him, for a man in his positin should surely be supporting the farmers and the sustainability of their produce rather than ploughing (excuse the pun!) money into a globally dominating, billion dollar company?

        An imprint of Italian flavours through the medium of burger does not bode well. Italian food (and all delicious food from our wonderful world) should be celebrated, not condensed into one foul, tasteless patty.

        However, I’m sad to say that I am not at all surprised by this. I live in a town where the McDonalds drive-through, I have been told, is one of the busiest in the country. It attracts a certain type of clientele that doesn’t eat ‘foreign muck’, but could quite happily tuck into their McItaly burgers thinking they’re being all continental and getting a ‘taste if Italy’ – all this without having to actually leave the country (I think it’s time I moved somewhere else!)

        I know there was a reason I called it ‘MuckyD’s’

      • Wise words Emma, indeed. Without going into a full discussion, as this is not the place really, I can only say that the state of my own country (but in all truth many others too) is very very black… every time I think we’ve hit the bottom of the barrel and it’s time people have realised we need change instead we sink in deeper… I’ll leave it at that…

        [I’d just like to say that the average italian person is very, very decent, hard working and open to cultures and cuisines… the political situation is incredibly complicated unfortunately and portrays an image of my country, which is embarrassing and humiliating]…

        “all delicious food from our wonderful world should be celebrated”- absolutely Emma, couldn’t agree with you more : )

  3. Err…, EDF is owned Électricité de France and their main source of power is…er, nuclear.

    C’est vert, non?

    • Good point, the only massively un-green part of their business is the coal-fired power stations. They appear not to do oil stuff. On a different note, it sucks that a British cycling initiative (even if it is largely greenwash) is funded by a French state-owned company rather than being properly promoted by our own government

      • Indeed, good point. But as I stated in my post & comments I am annoyed that the bike is used and abused for ‘greening’ energies companies’ conscience (I have noticed something on a similar line by another big big name!). The bike does not need fossil fuel, nor nuclear, nor wind nor solar energy to run… it is propelled by people power (and I mean this physically, no political pun intended)…

        Like Sheffield Cycle Chic said “Cycling has to be sold as aspirational, not worthy.”

      • Yeah… that was in some of the press when EDF first launched the campaign. But I’m not sure any of the energy companies are British anymore anyway… in fact how many big companies are actually British?!

  4. I must apologise for hijacking your comments and going completely off the subject of cycling and into one of food, but what a weirdly interesting and totally bizarre concept.

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