It's something that has been discussed a lot recently, our travel footprints and whether or not we should be making cuts to our travel (opting for slower options such as train or... in the case of climate activists Greta Thunberg, Boat).
Personally, I can't imagine giving up my travelling, and I don't always have the time to take the slower options. But that doesn't mean I haven't cut out unnecessary flying where possible. Living Switzerland there are many places you can go to by train and it's wonderfully connected to Europe. I've always been a fan of the Eurostar and personally, I actually enjoy a train journey, there's not annoying limit on toiletries and you can bring some bubbles and your own food if you really want to.
So the question remains, what can we do if we travel but also want to lower our footprint.
I recently got a bike and it's been a life changer. When I lived in London I wouldn't have dreamt of peddling anywhere, I was terrified of being crushed by a bus or lorry. But in Zurich, I can honestly say I love having my bike. The city is small and well laid out so it makes cycling easier. But if you live in a major city and they have a safe infrastructure to cycle then I would recommend getting a bike and getting a basket so you can place your shopping and bags safely inside.
Cycling isn't just relegated to city dwellers. I know what it's like to live in an area that hasn't got many amenities nearby, and I know it can be tempting to jump in the car because you know the journey will be quick. But in honesty, you'll not only be helping your own personal fitness, but you'll be surprised by how little time it takes to get around on a bike.
If you don't like to cycle you can also invest in an electric scooter or get an account and rent an electric scooter with Tier, Bird or Lime or the company who offers that service in your area. P.s. if no one is offering it, why not see if you can, it's a pretty great business right now ;)
- Eat less meat
I know that many are calling for going Vegan to save the planet, but if you don't want to give up the meat in your diet that's fine, but it would be good to cut down on it. I'd recommend choosing high quality, high welfare and organic local meat once a week, rather than having factory-farmed meat. Whilst it can seem more expensive, with good quality meat you can also use the leftovers to make homemade stock and create a new meal from.
- Choose organic
I've already mentioned above to choose organic meat, but it's also important to choose organic vegetables (or biodynamic). Whilst the call to go vegan has many good points, it doesn't address the issue that increased farming of crops will have on our lands. Pesticide heavy farming land is not ideal and with the recent court cases against Monsanto and Round-Up, it's easy to see that it's not only imperfect for our lands, but also for us.
Don't get me wrong, I'm all for the meat alternatives and increased vegetable consumption, but I think it's wrong to be ignorant of the potential negatives, we could be replacing one issue with another if we are not careful and don't choose to support organic and biodynamic farming.
- Natural Cleaning
This is a bit of a no brainer for us at KINN, but the less heavy chemicals we wash down our drains the better. You don't have to make your own products to make your cleaning routine more natural, but try to look out for brands who are greenwashing when you are choosing who to use. At KINN we are open and honest about our ingredients and we are always working to improve them, we don't use synthetic dyes or fragrances and we avoid harsh chemicals.
P.s. we'll be launching much bigger products soon, so keep an eye out!
- Fly less often
You don't have to give up your holidays, but if you can take the train to get to your destination then do. For instance, flying to Paris is a pretty horrific experience from London, you land outside of the city and spend a stupid amount of time and money trying to get into the centre, instead get the Eurostar, you're there in less time and you're in the centre!
- Carbon Offset
I know this isn't a perfect solution for those who do need to fly, but if like me you find yourself living between two countries or you have family abroad or simply end up taking more flights than is ideal each year then it might be time to look into offsetting your carbon footprint when you fly. I like to use My Climate to donate to projects in developing and newly industrialised countries.