I, Karin, am sitting at Split airport right now. I am going back to Switzerland for five days in order to give a language course with a Swiss Federal Department and have meetings with other clients. Although we give it a lot of attention in our daily life to live in a nature friendly way, there seemed to be no alternative to booking a flight for this trip: neither the time nor the cost was in any way comparable with any other travelling mean.
Some weeks ago, we met a lovely family from the Netherlands who have been traveling the world in their self built expedition mobile for the last 15 years. They have been to Iceland many times before and advised us not to take the ferry from Denmark to Iceland next year, but to ship Max from Rotterdam while we fly to Iceland instead. This is not cheaper, but way nicer than spending five days on a swaying ship in the North Atlantic sea, with no access to our mobile home during the trip. So... flying again?
It makes us feel uncomfortable to use a plane (knowing that using a ship is hardly any better). We are aware that they pollute the air and the environment big time. Yet we realize how difficult it is to refrain from traveling this way. It is easy, it is fast – and it is very cheap. It costs less to take a plane from Croatia to Switzerland than to take the train from Basel to Berne. Considering this, we believe that there is no way enough people – even those caring for the environment – will change their way of behaviour as long as these price differences exist.
We know that we are responsible for our behavior (and more). We know that it is in our hands to make decisions to live in a nature friendly way. We tried to find an alternative fuel for Max at the very beginning, wanting to try out promising new technologies. We did not succeed and are now using a truck that consumpts 15 l of gasoline per 100 km. Now, we are struggling again with the flying issue.
While writing this, we understand how little we still do. We’d love to say that we reduce or avoid waste, but this is unfortunately not true, buying products in supermarkets that are along the route. Everything is wrapped up in plastic. In Bosnia, we even failed to separate our trash, as there are no facilities provided for this. Everything is mixed up - or lands on the street in the first place.
At the moment, our way of contributing is to eat no or little meat, to use biodegradable detergents and cosmetic products only and to learn about the whole production chain before we consciously buy a (non-food) product. And of course, we give everyone a good slap or the deadly look who do not switch off their engine when getting off their car ;-).
We will find ways to improve. It is up to us.
Karin und Marian