What is a carbon footprint?
Our carbon footprint measures the amount of greenhouse gas emissions, carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e), generated by our actions. As the climate crisis worsens, it's become even more important to consider our choices, their impact on the planet and how they can reduce our carbon footprint.
How to reduce your carbon footprint?
The travel sector accounts for around 8% of global carbon emissions**, so choosing to travel by more eco-friendly means can significantly impact your carbon footprint. Thankfully there are plenty of ways you can reduce your travel carbon footprint.
If you're planning on travelling within Europe, you can significantly reduce the carbon emissions of your journey by taking a ferry rather than flying. According to the DEFRA (Department of Energy, Food and Rural Affairs), a single foot-passenger travelling on a ferry will produce only 19g of CO2e per kilometre compared to 154g for the average short-haul flight passenger, an 88% reduction in their travel carbon footprint.
Road trips over relatively short distances are often more sustainable than flying, especially with electric vehicles becoming more widely available. For example, a family of 4 travelling from London to Paris could reduce their travel carbon footprint by up to 85% if they drove to Dover in an average electric car and caught the ferry instead of flying directly. Even in a standard petrol car, the same family of 4 could reduce their travel carbon footprint by up to 59% by taking a road trip to Paris.
What is slow travel?
For years the trend in travel has been to jet around as many countries as possible, chasing experiences and ticking destinations off our list of places to visit. However, slow travel has emerged in response to tourism's impact on local communities and the environment.
Slow travel encourages tourists to take their time on holiday, choosing slower modes of transport, such as ferries and trains, staying longer and immersing themselves in the local culture.
Choosing to reduce the number of flights we take each year doesn't mean we can't keep travelling. On the contrary, combining a car or train journey with a ferry is a fantastic way to see more of the world, create a travel experience that has a more emotional impact and act on the climate crisis.