by Raul Menchaca
HAVANA, May 27 (Xinhua) -- Every day Tamara Doval pedals her bike for three kilometers to go to work and back home.
"I do it because in that way I feel that I do something, no matter how small, to contribute to the decontamination of the city," said Doval, a Cuban telecommunications engineer working at a telephone company in Havana.
Feeling committed to protecting the environment, Doval said she has been helping clean rivers and collect recyclable materials so that "the pollution does not ruin our city life."
This Sunday, Doval left aside her weekly resting routine and joined some 300 people in a bicycle tour named "Ride for the Climate: For A Future without Pollution," in which participants cycled several kilometers through the oldest part of the island's capital.
"It is a commitment to the struggle against the climate change, and in favor of renewable energies," European Union (EU) Ambassador in Cuba Alberto Navarro told Xinhua.
"A bike ride is also a way to raise the awareness of the public so that everyone, each one from our own field, may put a little bit, a grain of sand, in this important global battle that the mankind has," he said.
The bicycle tour, the first of its kind in Cuba, was organized by the EU embassy, with support of the Cuban government and the Office of the Historian of Havana.
It served to greet the World Environment Day on June 5, and celebrate the 500th anniversary of Havana in November.
The tour also served to present the "Green Diplomacy," a public action carried out by the EU in around 140 countries with "all the diplomatic efforts that are made in relation to the promotion of renewable energies and the struggle against climate change," said Navarro.
Navarro was pleased that Sunday's tour brought together a large group of Cuban and foreign enthusiasts of all ages.
"This bike ride is not only to combat the climate change and the carbon footprint, but it is also healthy. It is exercising the body. There is less risk of heart attacks, there is less obesity, and so using a bicycle is good for everybody," he said.
In the eyes of Haitian participant Cristel Plaisimond, the tour has "a noble cause that is to protect the environment and thus encouraging people to use more transportation means that do not pollute the air."