The short answer
If you fly for vacation, giving it up is the single biggest thing you can do to decrease your carbon footprint.
It’s that simple.
A family of 4 vacation to Hawaii from the West Coast produces roughly 11 tons of CO2. That’s the equivalent of driving a mid-sized car 24,000 miles.
Yep. 11 tons. Holy shit.
Some other ways you could save 11 tons
1) Have your entire family of four eat vegan for a year and a half.
2) Commute by bicycle every day for 4 years. 4 freakin’ years!
Puts things in perspective huh? Let’s be honest. That vacation wasn’t that awesome.
How can that be
Flying isn’t inherently inefficient. It’s just that it enables us to travel long distances quickly and burn a crap-ton of fuel to do it. It creates choices we otherwise wouldn’t have.
Know of anyone who packed up their Prius with 4 people and drove across the ocean to Europe lately? Yeah, me neither.
Interested in the impact your flying has on your footprint? Try our footprint calculator.
The Chatter on Flying is Real
Lots of rad folks are talking about this
But I want my kids to see the world
Yeah, me to. So does every parent on the entire planet. Unfortunately, only a very small minority have the privilege to even think about it.
Those of us that do have the luxury of choice have a responsibility to choose wisely. Traveling isn’t the only way to broaden our perspectives.
It’s not bad actually
It turns out it’s an easy choice for us. We live in the incredible Pacific Northwest. We stopped flying and started having deep experiences right under our nose. We bought a 40 year old sailboat. We started touring by bike and backpacking close to home. It’s been fantastic.
It may not be as easy for everyone. But at least we can all arm ourselves with the knowledge to inform our actions and then be pragmatic about what we do with the planet’s limited resources.
…it turns out it’s kind of important.