When looking outside, you probably can only think of the times that the sun was shining bright and you were enjoying your free time in the sun. Especially today, when some of you faced the elements to go to the places you had to go this morning with no public transport helping you out. This whole day only calls for one thing: summer holidays.
Recently, there is more attention for sustainable holidays. For example, in the emails I receive from an outdoor specialist (no naming because that’s promo ;) ), they touch upon how to have more sustainable holidays in the mountains. Also, there are already many books, blog, films, you name it on tips for having a more sustainable holiday. You might ask yourself, why do you then write about this again? Well, there is an ongoing debate on what is better for the environment: flying within Europe or going by car.
Everyone is telling something else: flying is better if you go outside Europe, for some distances in Europe flying is better if the plane is filled, avoiding a plane is always better, etc. The difficult part in this is that the numbers are changing all the time (both planes and cars are getting more efficient) and it also depends on how many people are in the respective plane or vehicle. To be honest, when people ask me what is better, I also do not really know what to answer. Next to the distance and the number of people, it also matters where you exactly have to go to (and so, what other modes of transport you still have to use). All those factors make it nearly impossible to say something about the sustainability aspects of traveling during the holidays.
There is one scenario thought out for you by the Volkskrant:
When going to Barcelona, it is better for the environment (carbon emission wise) to take the car, but only when there are more than three people joining the drive. Otherwise, it is better to go by plane (and yes this is difficult to admit). Again, this is only for Barcelona. So if you have plans for going to Barcelona, this might help you a bit. Disclaimer, taking the train is not taken into consideration in this small research. Conclusion: do not take statements you hear for granted and work out a lot yourself to be sure about your holiday emissions.