[no]WURries: Flight Shame

‘What to do: ignore our flight shame or go by (expensive) car?’

The real price

‘Hey Bram, we have all faced this dilemma! From an environmental standpoint, I believe you can’t argue for short haul flights for trips that can easily done by car, bus or train. I understand that spending more money does suck when you know that the price of flying is so much lower. Especially today, when prices are unrealistically cheap. Maybe it’s easier for you to justify paying more to get to your holiday destination if you keep in mind that the “real” price of flying will be paid by future generations and people less fortunate than you.  In the end I believe affording a holiday also means affording a sustainable way to travel there.’

Paula, MSc student of Biotechnology

Carbon credits

‘I think if you are travelling for pleasure or as a luxury and you’re not pressed for time, taking a few hours extra to travel doesn’t make a big difference. Most of us would only use that time to scroll through Instagram. I recently faced a similar dilemma and resolved it by allocating myself a specific number of carbon credits. This really helped me make a travel itinerary that was realistic for my time and budget. It actually does include a flight, but I still managed to minimize my footprint to a level I am comfortable with.’

Gloria, MSc student of Biotechnology

Take more passengers

There are many ways to reduce your carbon footprint! Being aware of the problem is great, but it’s not necessarily a “must” not to travel by flight. Personally, I’d rather support local initiatives that help offset carbon emissions, instead of spending time raising more money for the trip. This could even be more effective than shifting your transportation method. But if you decide to go by car, an interesting solution would be to offer other people a ride and split the costs. This will reduce both the costs and the emissions per person!’

Renato, Exchange Student of Agricultural Engineering


‘Here’s my tip: go by plane – it saves lots of money, fuel (which is scarce either way at the moment) and time – and compensate for your CO2 emissions through a platform such as Atmosfair (www.atmosfair.de). It doesn’t solve the problem 100 per cent, but you can appease your conscience by investing in CO2 reduction projects and it’s probably still cheaper than going by car. The platform calculates your CO2 emissions based on the distance, number of passengers, kind of plane, flight class etc.’

Judith Epping, MSc student of Environmental Sciences

Take the train

‘Book a train journey. In spite of its reputation for being expensive, it’s not too bad in practice, especially if you book early. If you buy an interrail ticket for a number of days per month, you’re also nice and flexible. You can plan a nice train journey throughout Europe on www.bahn.de. And otherwise, the ‘treinreiswinkel’ is good too. NS Internationaal isn’t great, so I try to avoid it.’

Janne Kool, an Agrosystems researcher

Next [WUR]ry:

Do you have advice or tips for this WURrier? Or could you use some good advice yourself? Email your tips or your question (100 words max) by 7 June to resource@wur.nl subject noWURries.

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