Yes, you’re reading that title all right. I went flying, on a plane. Since I figured this’ll come across as very weird, why Romee?!, since it is far from sustainable, I want to dedicate a full blogpost to it today. I preach it all the time: flying is bad for the environment. I even wrote a full blogpost about it a long time ago. And now, I took two flights, one from Amsterdam to Tenerife and one back. Why the heck did I do this? Should I not practice what I preach?
Since I’ve said it so many times: flying is bad for the environment, why did my intentions fail anyway? I want to talk about that today. And I did have some mixed feeling about this holiday in the beginning, because of my intentions. When I intend to do something, it most of the time works out. I just stick to my plan. But this time, with the great goal of not flying anymore until it would be sustainable (if that could ever happen), I failed. And failing just doesn’t feel good, I guess you know that.
Okay, so, where did I fly to and why? I flew to Tenerife with my dad, for a holiday. We were there for 10 days (if you missed my weekly diary the past week, this is why). Just a normal thing we do here in the Netherlands. Everyone finds going far places so normal here. That’s because we’re so priviledged. But for me, it is not normal anymore since I know how much impact it has on our beautiful planet. I see it as a big deal, since it is. So, that’s my huge confession today, I flew. And I want to show it here because even though I try to live as sustainable as possible, it is not always possible and I too have flaws. This is one of them.
My dad really wanted to go on a holiday this year. And I do too, of course! Holidays are awesome. So, we definitely agreed there. Taking some time go somewhere else, see a bit of the world and relax and enjoy. But then there is a thing we did not agree on: location. I’ve tried to negotiate the location, from road trips in Spain to a city trip in Berlin. The reason is clear: I did not want to fly. But in the end, my dad paid for the holiday and so he chooses. He wanted to go somewhere warm (25 degrees Celsius) and that can’t be found in Europe. It was all clear: the location was chosen and flying was the only way to go.
Did I consider not going?
Saying no to flying for myself is easy. If I want to go somewhere myself, I’d go by train or bus. But, when you’re going on a holiday with someone else it’s a different thing. And since the only option was flying or not going, I did decide to fly. Now why did I do this? Well, an eco-positive lifestyle is my passion and I love it. But, I do not want my relationships with others to suffer because of it. There are so many things you can do on your own when it comes to sustainable living. I can choose myself to go vegan, not to buy anything new, not get a driver license and all that. It’s fine. But, when I choose not to go on a holiday with my dad it means that I find sustainability more important than some quality time with my dad. And I don’t. I definitely don’t. So, I chose to go on a holiday. And furthermore, I do not want to be unthankful. I have the chance to go to an amazing new place and there’s nothing I’d have to do for that. Saying no would be a bit disrespectful too I guess.
‘If there’s no struggle, there’s no progress’ – Frederick Douglass
Will I fly more now?
I’ve calculated my impact the past year, you read about it in this blogpost. It was not pretty, I flew and bought too much. For this flight, I calculated the impact again and it came to 96 points, of a total of 235 I can have to live sustainable. If I’d have more points than 235 the earth would not be able to take it. So, if I don’t fly for the rest of the year and keep going with my habits the way I did, I will probably stay within the earth’s capacity (the 235 points). That is good news! Yes. But, less points are always better. Especially because I want to have an eco-positive lifestyle. I want to have more positive impact rather than negative. And flying is still a negative impact. So, for next holiday (with whoever that will be), I will again try to not fly. I am not planning on making flying ‘normal’ again.
So, this flight was (with my criteria) not avoidable. But, the next one might be. My plan is not to skip holidays, that is for sure. My plan is to go on holidays, but travel there in a different way. And with this trip it just wasn’t negotiable that I would go to Tenerife on my own by bus (If that would be even possible). But the next time, it might be. The next holiday will probably be with friends or my boyfriend. And maybe then I can go myself by bus, while they go by plane (everyone can make their own choice this way).
Enjoy the holiday
Since I decided to go, I have enjoyed it so much. I did not think about how bad the flying is, since I’d made my choice already anyway. But, I did compensate my flight. Even though it can never make up for the damage that is done, I feel like it is the least I can do. I compensate my flight on Treesforall. And while I was there, I tried to make some positive impact. By trash picking for instance. So, even when you fly, it is no reason to give up the entire sustainable lifestyle. It is a flaw and everyone has them. I will not feel bad about it, because there is nothing I can change anymore. The only thing I can do is look to the future and try and make better choices.
And you? Did you fly the past year? Did it make you feel bad? And what do you think of my choice to go flying?