Sustainable travel ideas

How to travel more sustainably

What is sustainable travel?

Sustainable travel is simply offering more choices to help you reduce the impact of travel on the climate. As with a more energy efficient home, you can also save money at the same time as reducing your impact on the planet.

How does travel affect your carbon footprint?

According to the UK Government, 28% of UK emissions are from transport (PDF, 1MB) - with passenger cars being the largest single contributor.  Add holiday travel to that, and it’s clear that changing how we travel is an important way to reduce our overall carbon footprint. 

Easy ways to travel more sustainably

Could you use your car less?

According to the Department for Infrastructure's Travel Survey 2017-2019 (PDF, 1.6MB), 71% of all journeys were made by car. 

If you could make some of your shorter journeys by other means, this could help save you money and reduce your impact on the environment.

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Switch to two wheels

Or if you fancy trading up your two feet for two wheels, National Cycle Network has a map of cycle routes that are safe and free of traffic. 

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Use public transport

For longer distances, or when you might need to carry a lot, then taking public transport could be another way to travel more sustainably. 

Although there’s still a financial cost associated, it could be cheaper than driving. And with many more passengers on board, the emissions per person will be lower than if everyone had driven instead.

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Thinking of buying an electric car?

If you're thinking of buying an electric car, but worried about the extra costs to install a charging station, then worry no more.

The EV chargepoint grant provides funding of up to 75% towards the cost of installing electric vehicle smart chargepoints at domestic properties across the UK.

Could an electric car save you money?

Learn more about buying an electric car and how it could save you money and help to reduce your impact on the planet too.

Can holiday travel be sustainable?

Looking further afield, the next thing to consider is holiday travel. Using Atmosfair data, The Guardian estimated that a return flight from London to New York creates 986kg of CO2 per person. That’s more than the average person produces in a whole year in South Africa. 

Holiday at home

Although the aviation industry is committing to becoming net zero by 2050, in the meantime there are still ways to make your holidays more sustainable.

If you’ve never had a holiday nearer home, then why not give that a go? COVID-19 has meant more people have chosen to holiday at home and shown that you can relax and have fun without stepping on a plane. 

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Become an infrequent flyer

Reducing how frequently you fly, or flying shorter distances, might feel like an achievable goal. But when you do need to travel further, initiatives like the Skyscanner 'Greener choices' label can help highlight the flights which emit less CO2.

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Has this article inspired you to take action?

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Looking for ways to live more sustainably?

Take a look at the everyday habits you could adopt to reduce the carbon in your life by reducing, reusing and recycling more. 

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Top tips for reducing, reusing and recycling

While it’s easy to point to our homes or travelling as potentially the largest contributors to our carbon footprints, our smaller everyday choices could also have an impact.