Reduce your CO2 emissions whilst travelling
Traveling sustainably involves making choices that minimize your environmental impact, support local economies, and respect cultural heritages while providing a richer, more authentic travel experience. Here are several steps you can take to ensure a more sustainable journey
Quite simply due to the large amount of CO2 that is emitted when we have to travel far, especially by plane. For the environment, it's better to buy an expensive bottle of wine or a better hotel room on holiday than a new flat screen later in the year.
Public transport via land is much more energy-efficient than via air. Travelling solo via car is the only method of transport that is less efficient, with the exception of electric or hybrid vehicles. The most efficient ways to travel per mile, is by train, closely followed by bus. These overland methods are around 25-30% of the output of planes. Of course, nothing beats pedal power or travelling by foot.
Fill the car
It is actually better to drive down south than to fly if there are two or more passengers in the car. And if you can fill all the seats of the car, it's best. Then you are many to 'share' the climate impact.
Take fewer but longer trips
Taking one or two longer, slower trips per year is a more CO2 efficient way to travel than quick weekend breaks. You will use fewer flights this way and that is the biggest cause of CO2 for most travellers.
Limit the number of flights
Aircrafts emit large amounts of CO2. A round trip to New Zealand emits the same amount of CO2 as electricity consumption in an average house for about three years. And short flights are also problematic as extra fuel is needed for take-off and landing.
The more people who can fit on a plane, the more CO2 efficient it is. A business class seat takes up the room of three economy passengers.
Fly with fuel-efficient airlines
Choose your airline wisely. A full list of the global airline ranking can be found here, from the Atmosfair organisation.
Shipping food around the world is a high contributor towards CO2 production. Whenever you are travelling somewhere, then eating the local food and produce will reduce the amount that is shipped in from around the world. This should be a no-brainer for any traveller, as you are there to sample their culture and eating local, is one of the best ways to do that.
Offset your carbon
Some environmental champions say that offsetting you carbon doesn’t tackle the reductions that we need to achieve and they are right. It is a reactive correction, not a method of prevention. It does demonstrate some mindfulness however.