Travelling can be the most carbon-intensive thing to do, especially flying. If you are conscious about it then there are ways to reduce or balance out your impact. Here are eight tips for better transport options when travelling.
Enjoy a staycation
The best way to reduce your emissions is not to take the trip. If you need a holiday then consider if you could do a staycation: a holiday spent in one's home country rather than abroad, or one spent at home and involving day trips to local attractions. If it is an international meeting think if you could join it via skype. If yes, then try to combine many activities into one trip: use a business trip to also visit friends and learn more about the country.
Travel slow and look at the beautiful landscape views
The opportunities for you to avoid air travel may differ due to geopolitical, financial and other reasons. If you do have the opportunity to choose then prefer a train, bus or car - in that order.
Avoid cruise ships
On one day at sea, one average cruise ship emits more soot than one million cars and more sulphur dioxide than 13 million cars. Cruise ships are basically floating cities which require lots of energy and resources. Their impact is huge which is why you should try to avoid travelling with them.
Find a flight with fewer emissions
To find a flight that emits fewer emissions, look at Skyscanner's eco marker. You can also look at the list of the most eco-friendly airlines according to Atmosfair here. Consider which will be more beneficial in terms of CO2 emissions in your circumstance: investing more money in a fuel-efficient plane or donating to an offsetting project.
If you fly, offset your emissions
A reliable offsetting programme can help you compensate for the emissions of your flight. You can do your own research, calculate the footprint of your trip and donate to a reliable organization like Cool Earth. Another option is to have the work done for you. MindfulFlights calculates your flight’s impact and how much you should donate.
Choose direct flights with no stopovers
The most fuel-intensive parts of flying are takeoff and landing. That is why choosing a direct flight with no stopovers can help reduce emissions. If you’re travelling to a small country like Slovenia that doesn’t have too many flight connections, then it may actually be cheaper and less fuel-intensive to land in a neighbouring country with a busier airport and then take the bus from there to Slovenia.
Walking, bike-sharing and public transport
Once you are at your destination, prefer walking and bike-sharing (or lending a bike) to see more of the area. These are also the greenest ways of getting around. Another option is public transport.
Fly economy class
A business class or first class flight means that you have more space per passenger. This can result in a five times bigger carbon footprint. An economy seat is better for your wallet and the environment.