Eco friendly and travelling – two phrases that seem almost contradictory. How can flying halfway around the world possibly be eco-friendly? With growing awareness of carbon emissions and the long-lasting effects that travelling can have on our planet, it’s not surprising that travellers are increasingly looking for new ways to be more environmentally friendly.
Did you know that ‘flight shame’ has become such a problem, that there is actually a buzz-word for it in Sweden? Known as ‘Flygskam’, young Swedes are using the term to describe the guilt they have over the negative environmental impact of flying, and this is guilt is said to be having a genuine affect on travel, with many Swedes opting to travel by train where they can.
But sometimes travelling by train simply isn’t an option. Or perhaps as guilty as you feel about the environmental impact on the planet, at the same time you’re still desperate to see the far-flung corners of the world and tick them off your bucket-list. If so, we have some tips to help you feel less guilty about your travel-habit – whether for business or pleasure! There are even steps you can take to almost completely reverse the environmental impact of your trip to create a ‘carbon neutral’ trip. Let’s find out how!
Offset Your Flight Emissions
The most obvious way to help make your trip carbon neutral is being able to offset your flight emissions, unfortunately not all airlines actually offer this yet, but many have introduced this as an additional cost when you purchase your ticket. Don’t let the thought of an additional cost put you off though, as you’ll be surprised at how cheap it can be to offset your carbon footprint! For example, a flight from London to New York will only cost you an additional £11, or just £4.15 for a flight to Spain. A small price to pay to protect the planet, we’re sure you’ll agree.
This tip is a little less obvious; it’s hard to imagine that by simply packing less you could make a difference to the environment, but if your luggage is jam-packed, quite simply the plane is heavier and so has to use more fuel. Although you might wonder whether your one case will make a huge difference overall, if we all made an effort together to pack lighter, imagine the impact we could have on fuel emissions?
Do You Need To Fly?
If you can travel by train, then do it! Whether it’s for a business trip or for leisure, try where you can to consider the positive impact opting to travel by train could have on your carbon footprint. For example, choosing to travel to Paris on the Eurostar as opposed to by plane cuts CO2 emissions per passenger by an incredible 90%!
Reusable Is Key
When we’re travelling, particularly more so if we’re on holiday, we tend to abandon the rules we live by at home and relax more. This can overlap into some of the more ethical habits we’ve adopted at home, including using canvas reusable bags whenever we’re out shopping, or carrying refillable water bottles with us. So why abandon these great eco-initiatives just because you’re in a different country? Remember to pack a canvas bag or two in your suitcase, and take your reusable water bottle in your hand luggage – remember you can take these through security, as long as they’re empty, then simply refill them once you’re in the airport lounge.
We hope our advice will help you feel more eco-friendly on your next trip, and less guilty about the air miles you’re accumulating! Let us know in the comments how you try to have a more positive impact on the environment when you’re travelling, we’d love to hear your tips.