With today’s modern aircraft it is usually extremely fast and easy to fly. Unfortunately, we know that air travel negatively impacts the climate.
Globally, aviation accounts for about 4-5% of all climate-impacting emissions. So even if you want to join and contribute to a healthier planet, it is not easy. How to proceed? The International Civil Aviation Organization has not yet made a decision on how much carbon dioxide international flights may emit – so it is important to take your own responsibility if you want to travel environmentally friendly.
Should we stop traveling by air considering the climate impact?
Air travel gives us the opportunity to experience great places far from home and make meetings with people we probably would never have met otherwise. Losing if it feels like a big step in the wrong direction.
Without flights, the trips would have been too time-consuming for the contemporary and we would have missed invaluable cultural experiences. We must continue to meet, learn from each other and affirm each other’s similarities and differences in order to continue to develop. So that we can easily meet across national borders today is therefore necessary. It promotes empathy, understanding, and peace. International cooperation is needed – not least in order to prevent precisely a non-sustainable future from several aspects.
It is necessary that we can easily meet across national borders today. It promotes empathy, understanding and peace. International cooperation is needed, not least in order to prevent precisely a non-sustainable future from several aspects
What can be done to fly as environmentally friendly as possible?
Although air travel is increasing – international flying has doubled in 15 years – right now development is also taking place. For example, more fuel-efficient engines and lighter aircraft are produced all the time. Pilots learn techniques in the style of “green landings” which means gliding last bit and the plan is now allowed to choose shorter and faster routes by flying through several countries’ airspace.
Many people want to learn how to travel more environmentally friendly and of course, there are things you can think of yourself. So there are tricks to make and choices you can make that result in the climate impact being as small as possible. Below we have share a few concrete, useful tips that can be good to keep in mind when booking a trip.
- Let the long journeys become something special and not something you plan on easily.
- It is a luxury item that should be used in a thoughtful way – go less often and be away longer instead. Obviously shortening your flight to the greatest extent possible is also one of the most logical solutions. A return flight to Thailand releases about 2.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide into the air – almost as much as a car releases in a year. There is also so much fuel you can go to and from Mallorca four times. Culture, sun and swimming are often closer than you think.
- Avoiding stopovers when traveling abroad is a major environmental benefit since take-off and landing consume and release large amounts of fuel.
- Avoid domestic flights as much as you can! Choose countries with good, environmentally friendly transport alternatives that use renewable fuels such as biogas, ethanol, RME or hydrogen.
- Choose a flight with high occupancy and using planes with new, efficient machines. Carbon dioxide emissions per passenger are then minimized. Flying with modern low-cost carriers that often have fully booked plans is good for both the wallet and the environment.
- Try to always introduce a holistic approach when it comes to planning your holiday
- Learn to be a sustainable tourist by also focusing on environmentally friendly accommodation, dining options and activities.
- Eat at local restaurants, shop locally produced goods and avoid mass-produced products.
- Stay in environmentally certified hotels that are actively working to reduce their energy consumption or rent an apartment/house.
- Large passenger ferries are not a good substitute – in some respects, they dirty more than air.
- Climate compensate or give a climate gift to the Nature Conservation organizations – become “carbon dioxide neutral”.
- Extensive resources are needed to be able to influence politics from a climate perspective, and those involved in the debate need all the support they can get.
The climate summit in Paris 2015 is historic and resulted in a global climate agreement, but in order to convert words into actions one must constantly put demands and pressure on the politicians.
In summary – keep the climate in mind when booking and planning your trip. There is a whole spectrum of different choices that are more or less environmentally friendly. Let the options be filtered through the information above and be aware of how your choices affect the earth’s resources. Traveling is a privilege, and it is both rewarding and evolving – so treat your flights with care!