Eco Travelling

long haul flights

There has been plenty of discussion surrounding travelling and it’s impact on the environment- mainly about how bad air travel is for global warming. Some people are suggesting that to be a real environmentalists, we should all cut down on our travelling, working closer to home (sensible), getting our food locally (tastes better anyway), and even forgoing vacations to far-away locales (no, say it ain’t so!!!).

As an avid globe-hopper, I was excited to find Claire McDonough’s site, Eco-Travelling, where she and her team of writers cover all aspects of travel, from boating and bikes to getting into the nitty-gritty of which planes might have a lower environmental impact (something I can’t say I really thought about before, but will now!) and if the critique of long-haul flights is fair.

A great resource for Earth-loving travellers (and isn’t that why many of us want to hop on planes in the first place?) with great writing and serious consideration given to alternative and traditional modes of travel.

About Starre Vartan
Starre Vartan is editor-in-chief of and the author of the Eco-Chick Guide to Life.


  1. travel is one of my main joys in life. i’m seriously hoping they can figure out a way to green air travel soon.

  2. It’s really disconcerting to me that even the most avid greens are clapping their hands over their ears and refusing to hear that they may have to change their luxury habits.

    Face it – planes are the most ruinous form of transportation. If you really do give a damn, you’ll HAVE TO CHANGE. No, waiting for technology to catch up with things and provide ‘green-planes’ is not an option.

  3. From George Monbiot’s HEAT:

    Regarding ‘more efficient’ airplanes –

    “This is unlikely to happen: the airline comanies’ projections resemble those of the motor industry, in that they are designed for the purpose of public relations. Even if this improvement did take place, it would not counteract the rising emissions caused by the growth in flights . . .

    . . . in 2005 Friends of the Earth asked the Tyndall Centre to determine what impact (projected air travel) growth would have on greenhouse gas emissions. The results were staggering . . . If we tried to stabilize them at 450 parts, flying would produce 101 per cent of the carbon the entire (UK) economy was able to release. If carbon emissions were multiplied by 2.7, to take into account the full impact of aviation on the climate, the figure would be 272 per cent. The researchers assumed that the fuel efficiency of aircraft will improve by 1.2 per cent a year throughout this period. This could be optimistic.”

    Further –

    “Our moral dissonance about flying reminds me of something a Buddhist once told me when I questioned his purchase of unethical products. ‘It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you do it with love.’ I am sure he knew as well as I did that our state of mind makes no difference either to the expoloitation of workers or to the composition of the atmosphere. Thinking like ethical people, dressing like ethical people, decorating our homes like ethical people makes not a damn of difference unless we also behave like ethical people. When it comes to flying, there seems to be no connection between intention and action.”

  4. Air travel is not ideal, but most of us are not ready to give it up. It would be so sad if people were no longer able to experience the joy of learning about another culture and seeing the amazing sites that this magnificent world has to offer! So, by traveling to lodges and taking tours that are practicing environmental and social responsibility, we are providing great benefit to parts of the world that may otherwise completely disappear due to deforestation and oil drilling. These are the alternatives that communities are facing, were it not for tourism. I work for a website called Whole Travel, which provides travelers with a place to find resorts and tours that are doing things like using alternative energy, recycling, preserving the ecosystems around them, and providing jobs to the local people. These places are given a ranking from 1-5 based on how sustainable they actually are. Another great resource to check out before you travel…

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