To Fly or Not To Fly

About ten years ago I realised how significant flying was (in terms of your individual carbon footprint). If you try and work out roughly how much energy you can use in a year and still live within ‘sustainable’ limits, a couple of return trips to Europe would take up your entire yearly allowance in one go. So I stopped flying – pretty much – in 2005.

The only time since then that I’ve flown was to get to and from Uganda, where I lived for four months. I got as far as Egypt on the way there without flying, but then didn’t fancy getting a bus through Sudan. Then on the way back, a little thing called the Arab Spring happened – and being stuck the wrong side of it in Sub-Saharan Africa, I thought probably leapfrogging North Africa was the best bet.

But I’ve managed to get to all sorts of European countries – Croatia, Germany, France, Italy, even Greece – without flying. I’ve seen some beautiful bits of Europe that I would never have seen otherwise. It takes longer, but its often more fun than flying, and you can do stuff on the way (like work or read!).

I’ll probably get on a plane again at some point, but I’m happy not flying for now. Bring back blimps!

Adam, Bristol

Travelling by train

I’ve seen some beautiful bits of Europe that I would never have seen otherwise. It takes longer, but its often more fun than flying, and you can do stuff on the way (like work or read!).”