We’re all responsible for our carbon footprint, the sum of carbon emissions released into the atmosphere from our activities, utilities or the vehicles we use. Each year in the UK, more than 4.6 million tonnes of CO2 gas goes into the air, which is the same weight as 37 thousand Shards! The travel sector causes a huge proportion of these emissions, mainly due to an over-reliance on fossil fuels. Here’s how you can reduce your own carbon footprint when travelling.
When travelling abroad, make sure you take into account how long you’re going for, and plan sensibly. If you overpack your suitcase, you’re adding to the weight of the plane, which ultimately increases fuel consumption. Consider only taking essential items if you’re going on a short trip, and make sure that you bring reusable toiletry bottles, so that you minimise waste.
Try to avoid stop-over flights, as this greatly increases your carbon footprint through accumulated fuel consumption. Choosing direct flights might sometimes cost a little more, but you’ll get to your destination quicker and you’ll be safe in the knowledge that you chose the sustainable option.
Carbon offsetting programs are offered by a wide range of airlines these days, and they give you the option to purchase credits that can then be sent over to green initiatives or charities. Each passenger on a return flight to New York and London emits roughly 1.2 tonnes of emissions, which is quite staggering. Offsetting represents a great way to cancel out your CO2 levels, by giving back to companies that are fighting global warming.
Carpooling represents a great way to lower carbon emissions, as you’re sharing a vehicle with multiple people, rather than unnecessarily taking separate journeys. The more people in the vehicle, the less fuel you’ll use per head. Taking a carpool also reduces the level of traffic and air and noise pollution.
Cycle or walk
If you’re on holiday, why not take the time to explore the area that you’re visiting on foot or by bicycle? By doing so, you can take in sights you probably wouldn’t come across by taxi, and you’ll be fit, healthy and carbon dioxide-free!
All it takes is a bit of extra thought when it comes to planning your trip, and you could contribute greatly to making travel a little greener. If everyone were to be more conscious about the way we travel, we’d have a little less to worry about.