In Sweden they call it flygskam, which translates as ‘flight shame.’ Here in the United States we don’t have a single word for the determination to leave smaller carbon footprints when we travel. As the Holidays approach and many folks plan their travel itineraries for the next two months, it’s time to consider ways to cut down on the carbon emissions we leave behind us. It’s not always a straightforward decision, so take some time to consider the following:
Driving vs Flying
For short trips under three-hundred miles, driving is almost always the better ecological choice. But then again if your vehicle is an older model that is not very fuel efficient this may not hold true. Always consider gas mileage, and if your car is a newer model and gets great mileage then even cross-country trips in your vehicle will be cut down on carbon emissions.
And remember that short flights are not fuel efficient. The emissions from takeoff and from landing use up a large part of a plane’s fuel supply.
If you must fly . . .
If you must fly, then choose a direct flight. Stopovers are not only tedious and time-consuming, but eat up an inordinate amount of plane fuel. It may be more expensive, but you’ll feel better about leaving the planet in a little better shape than otherwise.