Reducing Our Carbon Footprint
We love to travel, but we also know that every time we step in a car, train, boat or plane there is a cost to the environment. Research suggests that just one return flight to New York exceeds our entire annual personal allowance. This personal allowance (1.2 tonnes) is a guide on the maximum carbon emissions per person needed to keep our climate safe. So, just one trip to the Empire State and we have already blown it for the year!
In 2013 it was estimated that the average Brit had a footprint of just over 7 tonnes. The recommended personal allowance is just 1.2 tonnes. For the regular travellers amongst us, the environmental cost of air travel is perhaps one of our biggest personal methods of consumption.
Our carbon footprint is not just made up of our travel choices of course. It is the estimated carbon dioxide emissions from everything we do; from the food we eat to taking a hot shower or making a telephone call. So we need to make a difference in every area of our lives in order to make a change!
Evidence shows that air pollutants and carbon emissions contribute significantly to a number of adverse effects on our environment. Not only do they affect the quality of the air that we breathe, they also damage plant life, destroy natural wildlife habitats and ultimately lead to global warming.
What can we do to reduce our footprint?
Reducing our carbon footprint can involve some very small changes to our lifestyle. Many people prefer to continue their lives as normal, but offset their footprint by investing in environmental projects. This is a worthy contribution, but ultimately it isn’t solving the whole problem. Here are a few of our top tips to reduce your travel carbon footprint!
- Choose low carbon or carbon-offset travel options – Our hand-selected suppliers all operate carbon reduction initiatives and the majority of trips featured on our website are carbon neutral. Why not opt for an adventure cruise or small ship sailing holiday, rather than a traditional large cruise ship?
- Travel in small groups – electing to travel in a smaller escorted group helps to minimise the impact on the environment and local community. over-tourism, reduces strain on infrastructure and can reduce waste production. Cruise vs adventure cruise/sailing in smaller vessels.
- Alternative Travel Arrangements? – can you travel by bus or train instead of flying? Consider getting the train to the airport and reducing internal flights whilst you’re away. Opt for local transport solutions once you reach your destination. Not only will this reduce your carbon footprint, it also adds to your travel experience.
- Shop local – eating and buying local produce means that you are supporting a reduction in product transport costs. And … you are also helping to grow the local economy.
- Reduce waste – waste products, waste water, waste food. Not only is it helpful to #saynotoplastic, avoid waste through re-using linen, recycling materials and only buying what you need.
- Offset your travel – once you have taken all steps to reduce your footprint, we recommend offsetting the remainder of your carbon footprint.
What is carbon offsetting?
Carbon offsetting programmes are well documented in todays media. They involve a calculation of our footprint and then an investment into environmental projects to offset this impact. So for instance, if your footprint was 1 tonne of CO2, you could donate to a programme to reduce deforestation in the Brazilian rainforest up to the same value. There are lots of tools online to help you calculate the impact of your travel – we have included a handy tool at the bottom of this page.
We Are Travel have made our own commitment to reducing our carbon footprint and offset all of our corporate travel over the last 12 months.
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