Air travel

The Swedish call it “flygskam” or “flight shame”. It’s that feeling you get when you’re aware flying is bad for the environment and can’t bring yourself to fly anymore.

One in five of the people surveyed by Swiss bank UBS had cut the number of flights they took over the last year because of the impact on the climate. Some high profile environmentalists have publicly called on people to reduce flights to just one a year, including Co-Leader of the Green Party, Sian Berry (she personally hasn’t flown since 2005). Then there’s Greta Thunberg who hasn’t flown since 2015. In January 2020, she attended the World Economic Forum at Davos in Switzerland, travelling 32 hours each way by rail. Not forgetting her trip to New York by boat to address the United Nations.

Online meetings have now become second nature to us. As technology moves on so will ‘virtual meetings’ saving time and the need for unnecessary flights… at least until zero carbon flying is a possibility.

Avoiding flying doesn’t always need to be a chore. It can be an adventure.

Flight Free UK

Flight Free UK

Flight Free UK are asking people to pledge to not fly for a year. The idea is not only to lower your carbon footprint but to start the conversation.

The campaign started in 2019 in Sweden, by the end of 2018 15,000 Swedes had signed up.

Although in 2020 the global Covid-19 pandemic has put a halt to most flying, domestic flights are predicted to be back to pre-pandemic levels by 2022.

Take the pledge

Train travelling in the French Alps.

No fly holidays

As people have become more aware of their own carbon footprint demand for no-fly holidays has increased. The number of options are increasing and in some surprising ways.

In the 1980s the local papers often gave away £1 when daytrips to Dieppe. It’s not quite so easy now but access to the continent is still available on our doorstep.
Interrail gives you the chance to roam freely on Europe’s vast rail network. Think this is only for students? Since 1998 there has been no age limit.
Paris, Brussels, Lille, Bruges, Amsterdam, Dijon, Antwerp, Luxembourg, Rotterdam, Marseilles, Tours, Frankfurt or Cologne. So many options. It’s also possible to go skiing in the French Alps on the Eurostar Ski-Train.

We’re not talking about simple carbon offsetting. A new breed of cruise ships with hybrid-electric power are appearing. There’s even the option of a high-tech sailboat!

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