A new column about the small and simple changes we can make to reduce our carbon footprint and save money too…


It’s widely accepted that the increase in global warming must be maintained at no more than a rise of 1.5 degrees centigrade by 2050 to avoid the worst climate impacts. Air travel contributes large amounts of carbon emissions to the atmosphere, both from the fuel it burns and from the number of flights taken. It not only produces carbon dioxide but also other gases which pollute and increase warming. There is ongoing research into carbon zero and sustainable air flight technology, but it doesn’t exist yet.

Air transport is necessary in the modern world for supporting trade, providing medical aid, for international connection and for bringing people from different communities together.

It’s also used for leisure and it’s here that you and I can help to reduce the harmful effects of flying.


It’s recommended that each person takes no more than one short haul flight every three years and no more than one long haul flight every eight years.

Alternatives to flying, which have a far smaller carbon footprint, are train (although this can be very expensive), buses or coaches, and car sharing, especially within this country. For travel abroad try ferry, train or coach. If you think that booking trains abroad is too complicated, then check out the website ‘The man in Seat 61’ and find details on the best and cheapest way to travel to almost anywhere in Europe and beyond!

If using air travel for work, then try video conferencing instead. On average a passenger in business class has a carbon footprint 3x higher than someone in economy. In 2018 in the UK, it was found that only 10% of fliers were responsible for over half of all international flights, whereas 48% of the UK population did not take a single flight abroad!

So, clearly, this is a problem which can be more readily solved by businesses and those who can afford to fly alot in the first place.


Holidays in Britain and on all the islands which surround us, can be exciting and interesting. This summer especially, think of the queues in the airport and the delayed flights which you’ll avoid if travelling in a different way or staying in the UK. You’re likely to save money too!

If you make one change this week, consider an alternative and try to reduce your air travel.