Sustainable travel?

What I thought was just a ‘fun’ infographic of my flights in the past 10 years generated by the KLM app, turned out to cause quite some discussion about flying, CO2 and compensation. Never before has a post of mine generated over 35.000 views (!). The discussion was not always balanced, but did provide lots of valuable points of view.

We all have to be more aware of our CO2 footprint and I am glad if my post contributed to that awareness. I am not proud of my amount of flights, but I am not ashamed of it either (some comments suggested that I should be). In this post I’d like to answer the FAQ’s, explain my view on this matter and invite other travellers to share their views.

Flying is bad for the environment. I am not going to argue that. Some studies show that flying generates the same amount of CO2 as driving a car. So basically, traveling is bad for the environment.

My lifestyle involves a lot of travel, which has a lot of impact on our environment. My mission is to inspire and trigger people all over the world on the theme of freedom. My lifestyle – as a location independent entrepreneur, without a fixed base – triggers some and is an example to others. Instead of funding programs that compensate CO2, I try to light fires in people hearts, make them see possibilities instead of barriers, add value, and have a positive impact in general. When I travel I stimulate local economies and empower local people.

It is difficult to measure this impact, but I like to think that the positive impact I have in the world compensates for my CO2 footprint.

I also cultivate habits that reduce my impact: I don’t have a home that I have to furnish, heat and maintain. I don’t participate in the consumption society by amassing possessions. And I eat mainly vegetarian, which has a huge positive impact on the environment.

Everybody makes their own choices. Some people who criticize my traveling, choose to eat meat and don’t realize the impact that has on our world. Nobody is perfect. I think the most important thing we can do is to be aware of our impact and make informed choices.

What do you think? Are my assumptions valid? Do you think that I should stop traveling? How do you deal with this if you also have a location independent lifestyle?

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