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Friday, 8 September 2017

Sustainable Travel; A Talking Point

Girl in Rome

When I was younger, I always dreamed about flying first class, getting to soar above the ocean whilst reclined on a comfy bed, sipping on that fizzy stuff in a fancy glass. I can't deny that this would be nice sometimes but recently I've found myself thinking about just how sustainable our hopping on and off a plane lifestyle really is? (Blame the Sustainability Masters).

E.K.W. Girl in Rome

I love watching travel bloggers create content, or see super models in beautiful locations. However, I expect not many people have thought about how a person who gets on 6 flights a year has a carbon impact 8x the size of someone who lives in a developing country. Until recently, although I knew flying wasn't great, I never really realised quite how bad it was.

E.K.W. Girl in Rome

The question is, do you know any one who actually cares enough to do something about it? Can anyone find me a travel blogger who offsets their carbon or a business when they send their staff abroad? No seriously, if you do please send them my way because I'm yet to find one who does and would love to learn a little more about it.

E.K.W. Girl in Yellow Dress

During my time on committee of Leeds RAG, we voted to take part in carbon offsetting in all the projects abroad and this made me really start to consider what a colossal problem our flying can have and how much carbon flights produce, which all plays a huge huge role in global warming.

I'm not writing this post to change peoples habits, heck, unless I suddenly started walking and biking everywhere I would be the biggest hypocrite (I drive EVERYWHERE) but I do think it is something we maybe need to start considering a little more, especially those who are travelling ALOT
E.K.W. Girl in Rome

E.K.W. Girl in Yellow dress, Rome

Having come to the realisation of just how bad flying really is, its made me far more aware of those who jet off around the world every few weeks. In the age of information and education, I think we should all be a little more mindfull of the effect we have on the world around us.

E.K.W. Girl in Yellow, Rome

If you don't really care for the environment then this post is obviously not going to really interest you. However, I find it hard to believe that any one who is passionate about travelling and seeing the world, the grand canyon, the savannas of Africa, the Northern lights, diving with whale sharks or photographing a pretty view of a mountain range doesn't care.

There are so many options now which aren't so bad for the environment including trains, boats, cars and buses and I think maybe we should start thinking of the journey as part of the holiday instead of just a thing to get out the way?

E.K.W. Girl in Yellow, Rome

I'm not saying stop flying, but maybe, if we want to go to France, Belgium, Germany, Ireland or other close neighbours in Europe, we find another way then jumping on a plane. There are so many options available now, with fantastic services including trains, ferry's, buses or even self drive if you have the confidence. All of these ways are far better for the environment and far more fun to (the ferry to Ireland was the highlight of my childhood holidays).

Obviously this isn't always possible but who's to say if your going further afield and you get a good deal on your flights, maybe you could consider donating some money to a carbon offsetting scheme. This acts effectively as a charity donation to counteract the damage you're doing to the environment for your travel. There are some airlines which offer an opt in scheme where you can offset your carbon easily on their website adding normally around £5 (depending on the distance you fly). The most popular airlines who offer this include: Easy Jet, First Choice, British Airways, Flybe, KLM, Lifthansa, Monarch, Virigin Atlantic and Airfrance.

E.K.W. Girl in Yellow, Rome

There are so many possibilities to have a positive impact around the world when travelling and I've come to realise that we could all do a little more, me included! Even small actions can make a big difference.

So go calculate your carbon travel footprint with a carbon offsetting calculator. The results may surprise you!

Have you ever thought about the effect of travel? Would you consider alternative travel options?



  1. You mentioned you'd like to know companies etc. that do offset carbon. Apparently a few of the large organising bodies for ecology conferences do (don't quote me on exactly which ones). I saw a post recently saying conferences aren't doing enough to offset the impact of all the researchers flying in, but there are a few (albeit limited) examples of some conferences beginning to think about that impact. Small steps but in the right direction at least! Might be worth checking out.

    1. I was talking to my mum about the conflict of interest around ecology and environmental conferences the other day but didn't know if any of them were doing anything about it so I will definitely have a research into it now! Just seems so counter intuitive to not do something about it, doesn't it? Thanks Sam