Let’s all just admit it: Traveling is not exactly environmentally friendly..
.. but there are some ways that are better for the environment than others.
My trips are in the style of the 60’s and 70’s where people would set off in their automobiles across countries, not always knowing when they would return.
In today’s World people fly across continents, and back, sometimes just for a business meeting, without even experiencing anything of the places they visit. In 48 hours, someone can go to from Europe to China and back, or go for a weekend trip to a big city within Europe. For me this is not traveling. And I don’t think Greta Thunberg would much be in approval of it either.
Why not, instead of rushing to your destination, make the driving part of your vacation? You can make picnics at viewpoints, stop at historic and quirky attractions, camp in the nature and it doesn’t have to cost much for you or the environment.
Before deciding between flying or driving, consider these factors:
A 10hr Boeng 747 flight consumes around 150 000 liters of fuel (source). That’s 4 liters every second, or 12 liters per kilometer!
My cars would spend between 0,1-0,2 liters per kilometer
With the same amount of gas that a flight uses in 10 hours a 7 seater Toyota Hiace could drive 1,5 million kilometers. That is several years of driving, where you will also see a million times more than if you were to sit comfortably up in the air watching movies on the inflight entertainment system.
Camping is also way more environmentally friendly than hotels. By cooking our own food, picking up trash and leaving none behind, we have a fraction of the environmental impact that a hotel with fresh sheets, breakfast buffets and commuting hotel workers would have.
Also, do you really want to wake up at 5am to catch a 8am flight? Sure a flight is more efficient, but think about all the stress. To you and the environment. Next time you travel, consider driving a car instead of flying.
BBC has some nice CO2 emission comparisons, and as long as you are more than one person driving, the car always wins over flying.