Flight-Free Travel

Sarah Gáliková


The Environmental Costs of Air Travel

Airplanes release approximately 100 times more CO2 into our atmosphere per hour of flight than a bus or train. Globally, air transport emissions amount to approximately 1 billion tons of CO2 per year – which is even more than the total emissions of some countries, including Germany. Air transport is thus estimated to account for approximately 2.4% of total global CO2 emissions, with the majority coming from commercial travel.

In a recent study in the journal Environmental Research, it was reported that aviation contributes up to about 4% of global warming, and it is estimated that if aviation continues its journey at the same or even faster rate, it will cause a warming of 0.1°C. At first, this number may seem a very negligible value, but remember that aviation contributes only 4% to overall warming.

When jet fuel burns, it produces CO2 as well as non-CO2 emissions including nitrogen oxides, soot, water vapor and sulfate aerosols, all of which interact with the atmosphere and have an effect on the climate in different ways and at different time scales.


Did the Covid-19 Pandemic Help Limit Flight Travel?

In 2018, 4.3 billion air passenger journeys were recorded. The Covid-19 pandemic has slowed global air travel, with 45% fewer flights recorded for the year. It helped to some extent, but although the number of flights has decreased, our environment will not benefit much at first. This is because CO2 emissions persist in the atmosphere for hundreds of years. The recent outages may have slowed the warming, but it is very negligible for the overall climate impacts of aviation as a whole.

Air pollution from aircraft is responsible for an estimated 16,000 premature deaths each year.

Flight-Free Travel

Trains, Ferries and Buses – Plan Ahead

There aren’t many places where a bus or train can’t take you, but using these means for longer routes may seem very difficult or daunting at first. We recommend looking at transport maps of Europe, for example at Eurail railway map. First, you can find out what your options are, and after completing your first trip, you will find that it is not that difficult after all.

Start Small

At first, try only local trips, with family or friends. Sleeper trains can also be conveniently used within the UK. Once you know what to expect and what to prepare for, you can travel beyond the borders of your country and discover new adventures away from home.

Make Your Trip a Real Vacation

Traveling by train can often be much more fun than traveling by plane. The real adventure begins right when you get on the train. It is true that you can reach your destination by plane in a few hours, which is quite a ridiculous amount of time compared to a one-day trip by train or bus. But the main advantage is the travel experience you get in land transport. These are the views of nature, cities, and landscapes, and if you have any transfers to another line, you will also experience cities that you might not have visited before. You can relax, work, read, or sleep in land transport. You meet new people who often make your trip more pleasant.

Staying Local Can be Awesome Too

Being flight-free does not necessarily lead you to travel regularly outside your home environment. Enjoying your home and your surroundings can also be very beneficial, both for our body and mind, not to mention our savings. How about some local adventure, for example? Many people may not even know the sights of their local surroundings.

Traveling by Ship, Why Should We Encourage It?

A journey by boat is mainly assigned to slower types of transport. But it is a means of transport mainly for people who value the route more than the destination itself. Here are a few benefits of ship travel.


The premises of the ship also allow you to move freely around almost the entire outdoor area outside your private cabin. Many ships have game rooms, bars, restaurants and children’s activities.


We can also take into account the volume of luggage that we can take with us. On some ships it is even possible to bring your own car on board.


A ship seems to be much slower compared to an airplane, but the differences diminish when we imagine, for example, the lengthy process of baggage check-in at the airport, or the early arrival at the airport.

Traveling by Train 

Many people prefer traveling by train over ship/ferry, perhaps from a financial or practical point of view. We’ll show you the reasons that might convince you to put train travel first, even before air travel.

Traveling from center to center

For security reasons, airports are mostly always located on the outskirts of cities. National travel, for example, can be better achieved by train than plane in some cases. She journey from Stansted Airport to central London takes over an hour and can be very expensive in some cases. The train from Edinburgh to London takes about 4 and a half hours, leaving you in the center of the city. If we compare it to a plane and add the travel time to and from the airport, flying is not any faster than traveling by train.

Comfort and Legroom

Compared to a plane, trains have much more legroom, and it’s also more comfortable to walk on a train than on a plane.

Baggage Check – The Airport Nightmare

Security lines at airports can often make our journey uncomfortable. When flying, airports recommend you to be at the airport at least two hours before departure, just to check in or hand over luggage. For many UK train services there is no need to arrive at the station more than 15 minutes before departure and there is no baggage check.


As we mentioned at the beginning of the article, air transport contributes an average of 4% to the overall climate change. Eurostar commissioned research that assessed the CO2 per passenger produced by a single Eurostar journey from London to Paris and a flight from London to Paris. Electricity generation practices for Eurostar and aircraft costs and fuel consumption were considered. The conclusion was that the train reduces the emission per passenger compared to the plane by up to 90%.








About the Author

Sarah Gáliková is a Slovak girl with a passion for writing interesting articles and photography. She studied Economics and business, however her true affection is the english language. Sarah’s free time mostly consists of nature, great books and a camera.

More of our blog posts…

Creating an Ecological Office Environment

In recent years, ecological awareness has been growing in society about the need to take care of our planet. This means that more and more people are looking for and trying to implement ecological solutions…

Sustainable Cleaning Tips

In this post we take a look at a couple of tips on how to make cleaning your home more energy-efficient and lower its environmental impact…


Something went wrong. Please refresh the page and/or try again.

One thought on “Flight-Free Travel

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: