Did you know that the biggest environmental impact of your volunteer trip will be the flight! Aeroplanes travel in the sensitive upper atmosphere and release a cocktail of greenhouse gas emissions which are a major contributor to global warming.
Air travel currently accounts for 5% of total global carbon emmissions, therefore at this level air travel would account for all the UK's carbon allowance - meaning that every single business and person in the UK would need to have zero emissions to meet our targets of reducing emissions by 20% on 1990 levels by 2012.
Low cost and budget airlines such as EasyJet and FlyBe have rapidly established themselves as the place to buy flights, and challenged major national airlines such as British Airways, Virgin and Lufthansa making them respond by cutting prices of their flights. People have become increasingly confident about booking cheap flights on the internet and have become their own travel agents. Before long it seems that the internet will be the only way to book flights as airlines strive to cut costs further. The budget airlines have also changed our travel habits - last minute flights have meant that many of us are making more spontaneous holidays and breaks.
While cheap flights are wonderful for us, and do provide benefits to some new destinations, air travel is the fastest growing cause of global warming. As the cheap flight phenomenon grows air travel is projected to double in the next 20 years. Airline fuel is the only untaxed fuel in the world - so the airline industry is not paying the real cost of flights.
There are 2 options, either you need to find another form(s) of transport or offset the emmissions your flight creates!
There are only 2 other types of transport
that are practical for long international journeys, these
Trains are very convenient for travel overland. They are very quick, easy to use and above all cheap!!!
Why not join a sailing crew? Joining a sailing crew can be very good fun and actually quicker than you may think. To travel across the Atlantic Ocean from Europe to North America generally takes 3 weeks! Most ships will take complete novices, you will learn very quickly!
To find out more about crewing look at the websites below
There you go, you can travel across the world for the fraction of the price of an air ticket! But more importantly a miniscule of the emissions!
However if you are still planning on flying to your placement then why not pay into a carbon off-setting scheme?
Climate Care is an organisation which enables you, the traveller, to repair the damage that your air travel does to the planet. Your payment will fund projects that reduce emissions by the same amount as your share of the flight creates, making your flight carbon neutral. Climate Care funds projects such as renewable energy and reforestation which either reduce emissions at source or absorb CO2 from the atmosphere.
To calculate your flights emissions click here
Also the amount of carbon released is greatest at takeoff and landing therefore direct flights should also be bought as this will reduce emissions substantially!
Towards the end of nine months of travelling with my boyfriend, we met Sophach, the director of this project in Cambodia, who told us all about the school and his project. When we got to ...
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