I’ve been a passionate supporter of the Brussels rollerskate parade www.belgiumrollers.com since 5 years. Thanks to the rollers parade I managed to skate thousands of km in this otherwise ill-prepared city for skaters and cyclists.
However, something that from the beginning has surprised me is how the opportunity to promote green transport and practices in these congregations is being missed. The parades are lead by a hummer and a 4WD which run on LPG -see pic- which is all very well because this Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) reduces around 20% the CO2 emissions in comparison with a normal car in petrol. But for heaven sake, the consumption of such an irrational and mad machine as the Hummer is still of 24 liters per 100km in the city!
So, the logo claiming to be riding green is nothing less than greenwashing and being severely misleading as it is the organisers should make a point in replacing it by a normal car with capacity to carry a couple of good speakers. The ideal solution -if they want to use a car for it- would be to get an electric car running on clean electricity powered by Lampiris. It will help reduce the consumption, the noise, the pollution, it will not stink -if you skate after the car or even during the breaks the skaters are inhaling the fumes of this thing- and it will allow them to correctly brand themselves as “we ride green”.
One more thing that can be improved from the environmental impact point of view is the disposal of the bottles of water given by the sponsor evian to the sweaty rollers -also the cans from Redbull-. Even though Evian as a company has some good environmental credentials the truth is that they are really committed with the environment they should make sure that the bottles they distribute are collected and recycled. Having participated in many of the roller events I can assure that all these bottles are not separately collected and I would bet more than 80% of them end up in the Brussels incinerator. Therefore it would be good if Redbull or Evian would ask the organisers to take care of the collection of the waste produced by the parade. I’m sure the rollers themselves would be happy to collaborate and it would really be preaching by doing which would be a lot more effective than just sticking the label “we ride green”.
The season of belgianrollers will be finishing in two weeks. Let’s hope next year the organisers plan these things better and improve this great initiative to give the city to the skaters for some hours.