Traveling and Vacation: Means of Transportation = Climate Protection
Every vacation has its purpose: relaxation! But nevertheless, we should ask ourselves in how far we contribute to an effective climate protection during this time as well. Should we travel to our destination by plane, or is travelling by car or bus preferable?
Traveling and CO2 Emissions
An average family with several members goes on a holiday trip at least once a year. Climate protection is hardly ever thought about when travelling. Instead, a fast and uncomplicated arrival has priority. This is only human, of course: After all, the entire family desires to enjoy the first day of their vacation to the fullest at the resort.
A visit to a travelling agency presents a wide range of offers to far away countries. Tickets are booked quickly and with great anticipation. Nevertheless, we already encounter problem number 1. How does a family transfer to the airport and from the airport to their holiday destination? By car, by train, or by bus?
Low-Cost Airlines – Low Costs but Same Distance
When we take all opportunities into consideration, travelling distance, travelling time, and possible waiting times should be taken into account. Especially when using air traffic, there are numerous offers of low-cost airlines. These save every single vacationer costs, yet, the travelling routes are the same as for normal flights. Considering climate protection, the CO2 values are enormous here.
Assuming that an typical vacation trip by plane has an average distance of 1000km, 290kg of CO2 per capita will be emitted, in this example. If less passengers are on board, the CO2 emissions will decrease. Making this assumption during the holiday season is definitely a mistake, though. Airlines finance themselves by airplanes which are fully occupied and cover several destinations per day.
Minimizing CO2 emissions by car
Long distance travel is often only possible by plane, of course. If a holiday destination can also be reached by car, a minimal CO2 reduction can be achieved compared to travelling by plane, and thus a contribution to climate protection will be accomplished. For an average distance of 1000km, a mid-range car emits 210kg of CO2 per capita. However, the prerequisite for this is that the car is powered by gasoline and consumes no more than 9 liters per 100km.
Depending on the conditions, CO2 emissions will increase. A holiday route does not always consist of highway routes. Country roads and driving in city traffic show two dissimilar CO2-values.
City traffic: CO2 emissions are rising.
Country Roads: CO2 emissions are dropping
Each value depends highly on the driver’s driving style. A sensible driving style can contribute effectively to climate protection measures.
Please pay attention to the optimum tire pressure – usually 2.0bar (depending on the manufacturer).
Please pay attention to low-speed and fuel- efficient driving.
Please take interest in regular maintenance of the vehicle
More luggage on board will result in higher CO2 emissions. (Leaving bicycles or ski at home and renting these at your holiday destination should be considered.
A Bus Trip to Your Holiday Destination with Low CO2 emissions
Short trips are usually covered by bus. Being able to ride the bus, and to relax while doing so, is a great advantage for many people. Especially families consisting of several members often like to accept the offers made by bus companies.
If more people get on a bus, then less CO2 is emitted per capita. At an average distance of 1000km, the CO2 emissions are about 30 kg per capita. This offers an effective way to contribute to climate protection compared to driving or flying. The driving style of the bus driver as well as the route(country road, highway, or city) also play a vital role in this example.
A Journey by Railroad – long distances, preferably
If your holiday trip gets started by train, this will add a relaxing component to your vacation. While riding the train, numerous kilometers can be covered within a few hours only. This should be emphasized when deliberating a pleasant start to your holidays. Nevertheless, CO2 emissions should also be taken into consideration when traveling by train.
40 kg of CO2 are emitted per capita, on average. In order to reduce these CO2 emissions, long traveling distances should be preferred over short distances. How occupied a train is, is also important for calculating the average. The more passengers ride a train, the lower will be the CO2 emissions per capita.
Combining Climate Protection with Your Vacation
Prior to going on a vacation, it is advisable to reflect the transport options. CO2 emissions are an important component here. These can be minimized, if arrival and departure are planned accurately. Driving from house to house should be considered as an effective option. Because this will eliminate (unnecessary) routes which further additional CO2 emissions.
Routes which require a transfer within the same or another means of transport should be avoided, or at least be reduced to the point where CO2 emissions per capita are kept to a minimum.
If you would like to do even more for climate protection, you should change-over to your bike. Because every ride on a bicycle is CO2-free. Perhaps your eco-friendly vacation with your family can be combined with a wonderful bicycle tour?