Vacation: How to make your trip sustainable

There are several ways to save CO2 when traveling. One of them: choosing the right means of transport.

The corona pandemic has caused a lot of negative – but there are also positive developments thanks to the crisis. Traffic on the streets decreased, aircraft remained on the ground and numerous industrial sites had to stop their production. These restrictions have led to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions – at least in the short term. But now the measures are being relaxed and many are being driven back on the plane to recharge their batteries after months of lockdown on vacation.

But you don’t have to fall into old behavior: Instead of booking a ticket for the plane, there are much more environmentally friendly alternatives to get from A to B. During a domestic flight according to the Federal Environment Agency causes an average of 214 grams of greenhouse gases per person-kilometer, long-distance rail transport is only 29 grams, compared to 143 grams. This makes rail travel one of the most climate-friendly types of travel, especially within Europe.

Environmentally friendly and uncomplicated: carpooling

However, 76 percent of long-distance trips in Europe are made by car, according to one Study of the carpooling platform “BlaBlaCar”. However, an average of only 1.9 people would sit in a car – so three seats remain empty. If you want to do something good for the climate, you should therefore form car pools. Interested parties can easily book a ride using the smartphone app or on the website – or, thanks to the new “Boost” function with real-time search, even get on halfway if the driver is already on the road. According to “BlaBlaCar”, 1.6 million tons of CO2 were saved in this way in 2018.

But not only carpooling is an issue for the company: Since 2018, the company has ventured into long-distance bus journeys in some markets, including Germany. Because, as with cars, it is better for the climate if as many seats as possible are occupied. If a bus is loaded to 60 percent on a 250-kilometer journey, it produces less CO2 per passenger-kilometer than a car pool, the company calculates.

Simply offset CO2 from flying

In order to make the travel industry a little greener, Chris Kaiser has also worked with the Start-up B’n’Tree come up with something special. This is an intermediary platform that works with various travel booking portals and plants a tree for every flight or hotel booking. The tourism manager recently presented this concept in the VOX founder show “Die Höhle der Löwen”. According to Kaiser, more than 100,000 trees have been planted in twelve countries, which is good for various animal species and also helps to offset emissions.

Other climate protection organizations too like atmosfair help to offset the CO2 consumption when flying. Passengers pay the company an amount, the amount of which depends on the emissions caused. For example, the contribution of a person flying from Munich to Marrakech in economy class is 27 euros. Atmosfair uses the money, among other things, to expand the network of renewable energies in developing countries.

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