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Geared up to Bike to Work

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Geared up to Bike to Work

UMB recognizes the undeniable importance of sustainable business practices. We examine ways to reduce waste, promote recycling, decrease air pollution to improve air quality, conserve energy, and educate our associates about the benefits of environmental sustainability.

One way to make a positive environmental impact is to consider transportation options.

Whether your workplace is casual, business casual or strictly formal business attire, with a little pre-planning you can enjoy a smooth ride to the office.

Here are some tips to plan your commute.

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Map your route in advance

Free apps like Ride with GPS and MapMyRide can help you determine the best route to bike to work. In addition, they offer local bike route suggestions, bike challenges, mileage tracking and more.

Bike Necessities

  • Make sure your breaks, gears and chain are all in working order.
  • Adjust your bike saddle so that you are comfortable when you ride.
  • Be sure to have reflectors/lights in the back and a light in front.
  • Always check your tires before you ride to make sure they are inflated properly and don’t have leaks.
  • Remember your bike lock. Even if you are parking your bike in a secure company garage, it is still a good idea to lock it.

Transporting “your stuff”

There are many baggage options for bike commuting. If you have minimal items and only bike occasionally, consider a backpack, flipbelt or a small seat post bag. If you have greater baggage needs, try adding a bike rack that accommodates many bag styles, such as the Topeak MTX Trunkbag. It easily slides onto a bike rack and has expandable panniers.

What to wear

There are many options for stylish office-ready commute clothing, including items like this Columbia skort (see picture) or office ready technical trousers that are comfortable and stylish. You can also pack a change of clothes or have some standard pieces, such as a jacket and dress shoes, that you leave at the office. And last, but most important, don’t forget your bike helmet.

Transforming at the office – if you don’t have a shower at your workplace, or simply don’t have time, baby wipes make for a great quick clean up. There are also “adult” versions you can purchase, such as Paper Shower  dual wet and dry towelettes. Also, keep a deodorant handy in your desk drawer.

Additional accessories to consider:

  • A cellphone mount can be helpful if you need to check your GPS bike route map
  • A bike computer will keep track of your mileage, speed and the time
  • A bell is a great way to signal your presence if you are coming up behind pedestrians or other bikers
  • Fenders help keep water and mud from splashing onto your clothes

If you have a really long commute and can’t avoid highways, but are still interested in an alternative mode of transportation, consider the bus or carpooling. Many employers provide subsidies for bus riders – for instance UMB provides a subsidy that may cover 70% or more of an associate’s bus pass cost.

Also, if you live in Kansas City and are using alternative transportation, you may be eligible to compete in the 10th Annual Mid-America Regional Council’s (MARC) Green Commute Challenge, June 1- August 31. Our associates have competed over the last 10 years, learning about different modes of alternative transportation and the impacts on cost and environmental savings.bloog

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Ms. Shahane is a Vice President Healthcare Marketing/Sustainability Manager for UMB. She is responsible for managing marketing initiatives for UMB’s healthcare payments, HSAs, and benefit card products. In addition, she leads the UMB Green Team and promotes UMB’s internal sustainability initiatives. She joined UMB in 2001 and has 13 years of experience in the financial services industry. She earned a MA in Marketing from Webster University. She is a volunteer for Bridging the Gap and serves on the board for Northeast Neighbor to Neighbor.



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Stay warm and save energy this winter

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Winter is coming, which means a change in temperature as well as your heating bills. Below are helpful tips on how to keep the chill out of your home and more dollars in your wallet.

Keep warm air in and cold air outFlake-thermometer_400x400

  • Make sure gutters are clean. Cluttered gutters can lead to water damage and foundation deterioration in your home, which allows outside air to seep into your home.
  • Update windows with air leaks. If you can’t afford to replace windows, consider installing storm windows or cover them with plastic to reduce heat loss.
  • Use weather stripping around doors, and caulk windows to prevent cold air from entering the house.
  • Ensure your attic is well insulated.
  • Reduce drafts by using spray foam or caulk to seal holes around penetrations, such as pipes, wiring, vents or recessed lights that go through the home to the outside, attic, crawlspace or an unfinished basement.
  • Protect basement window wells with plastic shields.
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Maintain equipment to save money year-round

  • Schedule yearly checkups for your HVAC system. Energy Star recommends you plan the checkups around the beginning and end of daylight-saving time each spring and fall.
  • Change your air filter every month. Dirty filters slow down air flow, making your system work harder to heat and cool your home.
  • Keep air registers and vents clear to allow air to flow freely throughout the room.
  • Install a programmable thermostat – proper use can save you about $180 a year.
  • Insulate old water heaters with a water heater blanket. When it’s time to upgrade, consider purchasing an electric or tankless water heater to save money and energy. Note: Energy Star certified water heaters can use up to 50 percent less energy than conventional water heaters.

And remember, dress for the weather, even when inside. As the cold weather sets in, instead of donning shorts and short sleeves, put on a sweater or cover up with a blanket in order to keep warm without having to crank up the thermostat.

For more energy-saving tips, visit ENERGYSTAR.gov.


Ms. Shahane is a Vice President Healthcare Marketing/Sustainability Manager for UMB. She is responsible for managing marketing initiatives for UMB’s healthcare payments, HSAs, and benefit card products. In addition, she leads the UMB Green Team and promotes UMB’s internal sustainability initiatives. She joined UMB in 2001 and has 13 years of experience in the financial services industry. She earned a MA in Marketing from Webster University. She is a volunteer for Bridging the Gap and serves on the board for Northeast Neighbor to Neighbor.



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