I think it was a year ago when I first heard it. It was a social movement that, although it was making travel more inconvenient, was focused on switching plane rides to train rides. Companies were starting to send their employees on business trips by train instead of by plane. The idea behind this was to reduce emissions, and – when it was not possible – at least to offset CO2 emissions.
And it seems that, instead of being the classic thing that decays after a big PR announcement of the company in question, more and more people think about when traveling. Today’s post is about that.
The social movement that aims to quit traveling by plane
I wanted to investigate more about this. It seems that it all began in Sweden a year ago with something called “Flygskam“. It translates as “shame for flying” (as it can be read in Wikidata): feelings of shame over flying for environmental reasons.
No wonder the concept started in Sweden: Swedes fly seven times more than the average European, and 61% of all the CO2 emitted by the country is caused by air travel. Thus, many of them switched to trains in light of this.
This year I was also present in a couple of conversations on this subject. People told me that several German companies no longer pay the plane for their employees if the trip is within the country, but they pay for the train instead. Companies that do that are for example Tele 5, Richel Stauss , Weiberwirtschaft and Naturstrom. Bosch, instead of doing that, donates money to offset CO2 emissions from its employees on business trips, as Tagesspiegel (DE) tells us .
Within Europe, Spain seems to be a leading country in high-speed train network to cover this initiative. Unfortunately, many countries are still lagging behind on this topic. In Germany for example there is only one high-speed train line between Munich and Berlin, and that’s it. And in Finland the only one I know is the Lapland Express train.
How do I know my CO2 emissions while traveling?
If you also have this feeling, or you are simply curious and you want to see the emissions a given person would produce on a particular flight, there is a page that I use: Atmosfair .
In it there is a calculator to see what are the CO2 emissions of your flight or cruise, and if you want to also offset CO2 emissions – for the entire trip or a custom donation – you can do it too.
For example, these are the results on a round trip flight between Helsinki and Madrid:
And if you decide to offset the carbon, being this a donation you can deduct on your tax return, as they give you a certificate for it.
I have also started to do offset CO2 (sometimes)
I’ve done this in last trips of Big in Finland, of which we will talk soon in the blog (if you want spoilers, you can see where we have been in the instagram of Big in Finland ). It is not much, but even little is a little help for the planet.
And you, have thought about this subject? Have you ever (or will you) switched plane for train, or offset CO2 via donation or tax? Let us know in the comments.