Technology

Would you give up flying to save the environment?

That’s what Flight Free UK is asking, and they have an ambitious target: they want 100,000 people to make the same pledge.

Flying has given us a technology that allows us to easily travel far and wide; we can access the other side of an 18,000-mile-wide globe easily, comfortably and relatively quickly. Many of us get on a plane without thinking twice: it’s the way we travel. We work hard all year and we earn our holidays.

But aviation also has the unattractive accolade of being one of the biggest contributors to climate change on the planet. It’s ironic to think that this method of exploring this fascinating and beautiful world is something that is likely to cause its destruction. If aviation were a country, it would be among the top 10 polluters globally. As a consumer product, an airline ticket is about the most carbon-heavy thing you can buy. And there is nothing else you can do as an individual that raises your carbon footprint so much in so short a space of time.

So, could you ditch flying for a year? The flight-free movement is spreading across Europe with campaigns in Sweden, Belgium and Denmark asking the same question, with the same target: 100,000 people making a collective pledge to remain grounded in the year of 2020. It’s easy to feel that individual actions don’t make a difference, but when you are one of so many, you can really feel part of a movement for change.

A sustainable future means an annual carbon allowance of around 2-3 tonnes each – and that’s being generous. One trans-Atlantic flight is roughly 3 tonnes – your entire annual budget used up, and that’s before you’ve done any of the things you actually need to do to live.

Could you be one of the 100,000? You can make the pledge here, and read more about the campaign on the Flight Free website , Twitter and Facebook page. And if you think not flying means not travelling, check out the inspiring blog posts showing the possibilities of travelling by other means.

And as one of the 100,000, Sue Hampton, says, giving up flying is not a loss or a sacrifice, but a gift to the children of the future. #flightfree2020

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