On this Page
- Carbon Footprint by mode of transport
- Holidays by Rail
- Carbon Offsetting
Travel and Transport
Do I want an Electric Car?
The government says that by 2030 all new cars sold in the UK should be electric. The reasons are simple: electric cars generate no emissions at point of use, improving air quality and the CO2e emissions per mile are much lower than petrol or diesel cars. The practice of producing a charging infrastructure is rather more challenging.
If you have somewhere off-road to charge a car, and do less than 200 miles per day, then running an electric car is entirely feasible. Check out our blog on one man’s experience of running an electric car over the past 7 years.
We all like holidays and many places in the world rely on tourism. And this is an optimistic feelgood site, so we’re not going to go on about air travel, just share a few ideas for ways to mitigate the carbon footprint of travelling.
Travel and Transport
How much carbon?
According to the Impact Community Carbon Calculator the average carbon content used in travel by each household in Silchester is 6.31 tCO2e every year
Over 7 years of use, an all electric Renault Zoe – mostly used for commuting to Basingstoke and back – has averaged about 45g CO2e per mile. The average car produces 187g CO2e per mile.
Carbon Footprint of Travel
Our World In Data provide this graph to show the carbon footprint of many forms of transport. You can add more forms of transport by clicking the “Add Travel Mode” link.
Holidays by Rail
Interrailling is not just the prerogative of the young. Interrail passes are available for a variety of durations, and for any age, and can include the Eurostar (reservations are required, which may cost extra), and haven’t been affected by Brexit. Options include unlimited travel within a single country or a limited number of days travel within a one month period. According to the Eurail website, one of the most popular options is to book for 5 days of travel within a 1 month period, which at the time of writing costs Eur 282 for an adult. For more information and some trip ideas see the EU Rail website
Surprisingly, it can take a similar amount of time to get to the Alps by rail as by air. Snow Carbon have quite an amusing race video here, and their website has information on train routes and times to various Alpine resorts. For more see the Snow Carbon Website
The primary aim is to reduce your own carbon footprint. However, carbon offsetting may have a place in addressing residual carbon that cannot be reduced by other means. Although Greenpeace object to carbon offsetting in principle (see The biggest problem with carbon offsetting is that it doesn’t really work) other reputable charities, such as WWF, take a more nuanced view, offering carbon offsetting to support responsible travel Offset your travel footprint
The whole issue of carbon offsetting has become very much mired by offsetting schemes that have applied dubious intellectual rigour and some of which are pure scams. For effective carbon offsetting you need to invest in something that reduces carbon and which would not have happened without your action. This is why investment in things such as low tech fuel efficient stoves in Africa are a good thing from an offsetting perspective as no one has any economic incentive to do it, and are not likely to have such an incentive in the future. Of course this also brings with it significant socio-economic benefits to the recipients of the stoves.
If you do decide to offset your travel footprint, then make sure that the scheme that you select is:
- Additional (providing a carbon reduction that would not happen without you); and
- Certified by a reputable standards agency
The certifier should ensure that the carbon reduction is permanent, does not simply displace the carbon generation elsewhere (leakage) and that the emission reductions are not double-counted.