By Howard Carter
This is the question that I and other conscientious folk ask ourselves every time we need to take a flight.
The first thing I think of is, do I really need to go on the journey? (This is why I eventually didn't go to COP26 in Glasgow.) If I really do need to go the second question is, is it possible to make the trip by bus, car-share, train or best, an EV? Flying short haul emits over 25% CO2 per Km per adult* than long haul, unless it’s an emergency I no longer fly within the UK. If flying is the only option, I don't guilt-trip myself. Because most of my work is near the equator, I make a conscientious decision, to reduce my carbon miles further, by combining work trips with a holiday - I've already taken the flight so I may as well stay on in the country, enjoy being in another culture & contributing to the local economy. There is no need for me to take a separate vacation. Obviously, this won’t be possible with most travellers, but you get the idea, think more green & ethical holidaying, it can be just as fun without guilt!
I think of myself as a responsible traveller, helping others less fortunate, when we help under-developed countries by reducing carbon dioxide and donating directly to charities & other organisations. CO2 balance is necessary to ensure that the poor can move up the ladder & the rich get poorer!
It's not helpful going to a poor nation, staying in a 5* hotel who pay their workers peanuts & don't give a monkey's about the environment or the relationship between the hotels and their employees. Although air travel now contributes 1.7% out of the overall 14.7% towards total transportation of global emissions, we need to look to the future and ensure that worldwide travel doesn’t escalate above this figure. Meeting certain ethical & climate-control targets is possible by eliminating short distance flights and travelling to countries that need the income, for example Africa, rather than FLORIDA OR THE HAMPTONS!
And make it as responsible as possible: staying in Eco resorts; using biodegradable products with minimal plastic packaging e.g. incognito® - all underdeveloped countries are woefully short on recycling & water purification facilities and they need income!
Here are a couple of sterling examples of where to fly to responsibly
Ko wai & countless other islands forced to close through lack of tourists. Local economies are hit particularly hard although whole countries are badly affected
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The entire transport sector is responsible for about 14.7% of all greenhouse gases emitted. The biggest contributor is not the more CO2-intensive airline industry, responsible for about 1.7% of all CO2 emissions, but road vehicles, accounting for 10.5