Get grounded


Flying is one of the most carbon intensive activities humans carry out, and luckily, the alternatives are enjoyable and increasingly accessible.

For those who fly frequently, consider skipping the stress of the airport and swap a flight for a relaxing train or ferry journey. It’s a new, more mindful kind of adventure.

It’s time to question corporate travel too as conferences and business meetings can in many places be attended online.

Next time you plan to fly, think, can I cut my carbon and stay grounded?



For people

Security queues, delays, tiny uncomfortable seats, the fidgety kid in the seat behind, more queues, endless time wasted at the baggage carousel. Flying can be a bit of a drag.

When travelling by land, you have much more choice of how to use your time - whether to get stuck into your book, gaze out of the window, chat to your friends, wander to the buffet bar, or get on with some work using the on-board Wi-Fi. You can even break your journey to explore a new town on route. And there are no baggage restrictions!

There are health considerations too. Increased risk of DVT (deep vein thrombosis), exposure to other passengers’ germs through the air con, jet lag and sleep deprivation are all side effects of air travel.

For planet

Flying is the single most carbon intensive action any individual can take.

This excellent graph shows how different forms of travel compare. Travelling by eurostar train is 90% less damaging than flying.

Avoiding one long distance return flight per year could save up to 8.8 tonnes of CO2 – that’s about the same as the annual emissions of the average Brit.


If you make a regular flight within the UK or across the channel, why not give the train or bus a go for one of your trips?
To compare the environmental impact of various travel options, check out EcoPassenger.

Choose your adventure
By coach: Check out MegaBus for the cheap and cheerful option of coach travel.
By train: RailEurope is a one-stop shop for European and UK train travel. See The Guardian's rail travel features for inspo.
By car: Depending on distance and number of passengers (the more the merrier!), driving can be by far the most sustainable option. Plus, road trips are fun and you can stop off at loads of cool places.
By ferry: Ferries are underrated. You can walk, cycle or drive onto the boat then watch the sunset from the deck, drink in hand, or watch a movie in your cabin and even end up at a bingo night! Check routes via Direct Ferries.
By cargo ship: For something very different, make your adventure bigger by travelling by cargo ship!

Keep it close
Foreign trips are tempting, but have you made the most of the stunning scenery and hidden treasures closer to home? Many countries have areas with micro climates, beautiful beaches, forests, lakes and mountains that are often overlooked.