Spending less time in planes

I’d like to be spending less time in planes. I’m getting more and more committed to using and consuming less as part of my efforts to Use 10 Percent Less and one of these is flying less kilometers per month. Surely this is the right direction to be headed. Flying consumes a lot of fuel and creates a lot of pollution and, with my job, I’ve tended to fly a lot.

spending less time in planes

I want it to be clear that I’m not saying flying is bad and we should never fly (for my job, I have to fly, and often flying is necessary or highly desirable for personal reasons). I’m just saying we should fly less – even a modest target of 10% less. That’s the important idea behind the Use 10 Percent Less initiative.

There is plenty of scientific evidence that suggests if we reduce our emissions by 10% per year, then global warming would stop. That sounds good to me. Let’s hope it works.

Spending less time in planes – how?

For the past few months, I’ve been trying to reduce the number of flights I’ve made. Some things I’ve tried are:

  • using video-conferencing for meetings instead of flying;
  • delaying trips as long as possible (they might become unnecessary or fall into the next category…);
  • combining trips so that two trips might become one.

Not only are these efforts good for the environment, they are saving real cash as well.

Here’s the log of how I’ve been going up to July 2014 (I used this page to calculate air distances);

spending less time in planes

A reduction of 25%!

You can see by the trend line that, a year ago, I was flying about 24,000 kms per month and today I’m flying about 18,000. So that’s a reduction of 25%.

Goals for the future

My goals now are to keep these numbers low and find ways to effectively keep the trend downwards. For example, can the video-conferencing experience be improved? Sometimes video-conferences are annoying, but if these could be improved, we might find that we’re happy to replace at least 10% more of our meetings with video-conferences. Should be possible, I hope.

Wouldn’t it be great if those of you who fly a lot could just fly 10% less in the next year? If we could globally reduce our flying by 10%, that would be a huge boost for the atmosphere and the climate. We don’t have to eliminate flying, just reduce our flying a bit. Spending less time in planes will help get the Earth (and us) moving in the right direction.

Do you have any tips or potential pitfalls to share?

Related Links

  • I was contacted by the people at upgradedpoints.com after they saw this post. If you do have to spend a lot of time in planes, this might a site useful to you.

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