Can I Be Sustainable if I Fly?

By fly, I mean an aeroplane. Not literally flying, but that would be amazing. I wonder how sustainable that would be…

In some ways it is kinda hypocritical of me to write about trying to lead a sustainable life but also show all the amazing places that I have travelled to this year and will be travelling to next year because flying is extremely unsustainable.

Air travel uses such a large amount of fossil fuels and produces a lot of carbon emissions which we don’t need any more of quite frankly. Every year there are more and more flights which is just adding to the problem and I am well aware that I am just further contributing to this.

I try to justify flying to a lot of people because I feel awful for how bad it is but I want to travel so badly! It’s not really practical for me to get the train around Europe because of the cost and the time it takes. The point of me taking shorter trips is so that I can still work and earn money so that I can afford to go to university next year. I want to see the world. That is my goal, and that’s what I am trying to do.

I feel like I can make all the excuses in the world but there is no way for flying to be sustainable, it’s not and probably won’t be for a very long time. Aviation is one of the industries that contributes to climate change the most.

I’ve been doing a lot of research and there are ways to make it slightly more sustainable by choosing direct flights and choosing economy seats not business class but in the long run I doubt these will make a massive difference.

There are changes being made and some companies are slowly becoming more fuel efficient but it’s a slow process and it will take some time. Apparently electric planes are in the works but it could be decades before they are in use for the public. Hopefully within my lifetime this will happen.

I have also read that some airlines are less polluting that others and some do use biofuels but cost also comes into play. I usually go for Easy jet because they are cheap and sometimes reliable, I am not really in the financial position to go for the more expensive flights even if they are that little bit less polluting. In the long run I don’t even though how sustainable this would be or even how much less CO2 they produce.

I made a lot of changes in my life to be sustainable such as switching out to a lot plastic free alternatives, walking everywhere and deciding not to ever learn how to drive, only using public transport when absolutely necessary and eating a mostly vegetarian/vegan diet (it’s not always as I’m gluten intolerant) and not buying any new clothing and supporting the fast fashion industry. Even though I have made a lot of changes, none of these compensate flying.

However saying that, the fashion industry does produce more emissions than all flights in a year so I’m glad I dont really contribute to that anymore.

I read a statistic that to save the CO2 emissions for a return flight to New York, you would have to eat a vegan diet for over a year. That’s just one return flight. This year alone I have done 3 return flight with another in a couple of days. Over the span of my life I doubt I can save for all the flights I will and have taken on my gap year.

I am trying to make some changes, for example I have planned to visit multiple countries in one trip by getting the train between cities. It’s not perfect but it’s a better alternative.

You would think that saying all this negative stuff about flying would make me want to stop flying altogether, but honestly it’s not. I love the planet and I want to see as much of it as possible while I still can. No one quite knows what is gonna happen in the next 20 years with climate change just getting worse and no sign of it slowing down. While it’s still here, I wanna see and experience it all!

I truly admire Greta Thunberg for getting a boat between Europe and America so that she didn’t have to fly. I think that that is absolutely amazing! However I am not in a situation where I can do that. I imagine that takes a lot of money and time that I just don’t have unfortunately.

Therefore I am going to keep flying and keep on seeing the world whilst also making more changes in other aspects of my life to be as sustainable as possible. I would love to go completely vegan and I would also love to try and live a zero waste lifestyle and I shall document that process on here. I know that it’s a very cheesy thing to write but no one is truly perfect and nothing and no one is 100% sustainable. But we can all try our best.

I would love to know your opinion on this and whether or not you think it’s a good idea for me to keep on flying?

Whats your favourite country that you have visited?


2 thoughts on “Can I Be Sustainable if I Fly?

  1. I have done a lot of flights this year and I am def aware that this is not the best for the environment! As you say, no one is perfect and everyone’s situation is different, so I think we just need to do the best we can with what we have (in terms of time, money etc), and also acknowledge that we may sometimes make choices that prioritise our own desires over global issues. And if our own desires/ambitions do contradict what would be best practice for the environment, I guess we just have to try and offset it as much as we can by engaging in other habits and activities that are less damaging!

    Liked by 1 person

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