Switch domestic or short haul flights to train, coach or boat
Flights are one of the most carbon intensive behaviours we take due to the emissions created just to get them off the ground. To put it into context, a return flight from London to Bali produces many more emissions per passenger than eating meat for a year. Huge!
Air travel makes up about 2% of global emissions (ICAO) and this is increasing more than any other form of transport. Flying is also highly unequal: in the UK, 70% of all flights are taken by just 15% of the population - this pattern is repeated across the world in countries including China, the US, India and Canada.
In Europe, planes emit around 10x more CO2 into the atmosphere as trains, over the same distance (Seat61). And as trains transfer to renewables, that difference becomes even larger. So, switching out domestic or short haul flights for trains, boats and coaches can make a huge difference to your carbon footprint.
These tips are part of something bigger. At Hubbub, we want to see a world where everyone makes choices that are good for the environment. Check out what we do and how your actions add up.
Check out our tips below for getting started with more ground and land travelling instead of flying.
The train doesn’t have to be more expensive, book far enough in advance and you could save! Did you know you can get a whopping third off train travel when 3-9 people travel together, usually off-peak. Or check out the many railcards on offer, you could earn your money back within one trip! Seat 61 is the ultimate train traveller's guide, full of tips comparing the cost, time and ease of different trips across the UK and Europe. The coach or car sharing/pooling is almost guaranteed to be cheaper than a flight within the UK, and why not take the travelling time to just nap and rest up for the trip?
Travelling over ground may take a little longer, but don’t they say it’s about the journey not the destination? With the train you can add stopovers for meals, to explore extra destinations, you could bring games, movies, books, snacks, and you might catch some lovely views or a sunset on your way! Get inspired by this list of the most scenic train routes in Europe or the UK’s 7 most scenic train rides to build into your trip.
When you skip the planes, you may often skip the queues, the security, the liquid limits, and the baggage claim. Did someone say full size shampoo and full skin care routine? Yes! You can take all the products, pastes, sprays, and drinks you want, your bag can be as large and as heavy as you want, you can enjoy the view, move around more easily and and you’ll have much less hassle either side of your travelling.
A lot of people will fly for holidays, but what if we told you that you could find all the fun, beauty and escape you’re looking for right here in the UK? Less hassle, more fun, and you might even save some money! There are loads of hidden gems to be unveiled in the UK. From beaches and mountains to nightlife and spas, there isn’t many holiday vibes that can’t be matched here. Check out some of our top staycation swaps:
- Barcelona -> Brighton or Margate for upcoming seaside kitsch, art, beaches and nightlife
- Benidorm -> Manchester for characterful streets, indie shops, restaurants and bars and amazing music
- Ibiza -> A UK festival or spa weekend for total indulgence, escapism and relaxation
- Dublin -> Edinburgh for a concentration of bars and nightlife, charming cobbled streets and even plenty of laughs at the Edinburgh Fringe
- Berlin -> Glasgow or London, both brimming with culture, retail therapy options and a vibrant underground nightlife
- Amsterdam, Paris, Bruges -> Take the train! From £35 one way and you’ll arrive in the centre of Amsterdam under 4 hours
Holidays are a hard-earned treat for many, and sometimes it’s necessary to fly. You can reduce your impact with a few simple steps. Taking direct flights, staying for longer, packing light and sitting in economy all help use less fuel. You could also consider offsetting the emissions from your flight by investing in reputable projects like tree planting.
Creating wider change
Emissions from flying are harming the environment - but not everyone is equally responsible. Possible‘s report ‘Elite Status: global inequalities in flying’, reveals that in almost all of the countries with the highest aviation emissions, a small minority of people take up a huge share of the flights. Have a read to find out more about what an aviation tax would look like and how you can support through writing to your MP and talking to friends.
Making waves in the workplace
Want to travel sustainably but worried about the extra time / holiday days that may be needed? Climate Perks has you covered! Talk to your employer about Climate Perks, the scheme that provides paid ‘journey days’ if you travel without flying, both to allow for the extra travel time and to reward your decision! It’s a great way to encourage employees and make the sustainable decision the more attractive one. Find out more.
Want to learn more about the impact of flying and its history and future?
Listen to our podcast, What On Earth.
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