As scientists report a sobering 50% increase of Co2 in our atmosphere in 2016 perhaps we need to ask ourselves how responsible is international travel?
There are many obvious economic benefits that come with international travel.
- The economy of the destination gains valuable cash injection.
- New opportunities for employment can be developed.
- With the international attention, the destination can attract investment and other projects that will help the place develop.
However, travel now means air-travel and flights. The vast numbers of airplanes that take to the skies every minute all releasing CO2 as they crisscross the skies represent figures so large that they cannot be ignored.
If we want to protect the earth for future generations to discover, do we need to rethink travel?
For certain if we don’t drastically reduce the CO2 we are emitting the future looks very uncertain.
How Can We Travel Without Flights?
Nowadays international travel and flights come hand in hand… but would it be the end of the world if we didn’t continue to fly?
Let’s Travel Home
One way we can continue to travel and discover new wonders while reducing the number of flights we make each year is to travel home. Everyone lives somewhere that is interesting to someone else, so why not travel in your home country.
You might just discover some surprises and wonders right under your nose.
Travel for Longer
Rather than making lots of short trips and taking flights for long weekends away, why not organize your holidays to travel for a longer period of time?
Personally, I am a fan of traveling for long stretches of time. You have the chance to get to know a place better and to make friends in the place you are visiting.
You could change your travel habits from making 4-5 short holidays per year to making one long immersive trip of 3-4 weeks.
Then you would only need two flights a year, which for a lot of people would be a significant reduction.
When in a large country use other forms of public transport between cities
When you are traveling in a large country, for example, India. Rather than flying between cities take the trains (or other alternative means of public transport).
Long train journeys across the country are a worthwhile travel experience in themselves and you will see changing landscapes, kaleidoscopes of colors, and experience the changing cuisine along the way.
Not to mention all the characters you will meet also making their way around the country, to the clickety-clack sound of rattling rails.
I think it is clear that in today’s world many people are travel addicts. To declare that we should all stop flying and traveling is too extreme an answer and what’s more unrealistic.
However, that does not mean we cannot all make a significant effort to change our travel habits and reduce the amount of CO2 we are emitting at the same time.
After all, if we don’t sit up and pay attention now and make changes to our way of life, our children and our children’s children may be the ones who pay the price.