Why I chose air travel even if it is "unsustainable"?

Updated: May 18, 2020

I love this Earth.

The Earth is so beautiful, powerful, magnificent. I could use an endless list of adjectives to describe it.

So, why do I continue to "frivolously" travel?

Easy, I want to see all that it has to offer. I want to see the rain forests and the desserts. I want to see the seven wonders of the world and some of the new modern wonders. I want to visit every U.S. state and other continents.

I want to protect the Earth because I want to see every corner of it. I want my children and grandchildren to be able to explore the Earth for themselves and not just have to look back at photos of "how things used to be."

But, still, why do I fly if flying is so bad? One reason is because I live on a tiny island in the middle of the pacific and it is my only way off the island. When we do have to fly somewhere, once we get there we will rent a car, use taxis, or travel by train or subway. We love the more environmentally friendly travel options when they are available to us.

I also strongly believe that this guilt of traveling and the degradation of the Earth should not fall directly on my (or anyone's) shoulders. Yes, air travel isn't the best and we could probably chose an alternate option, but large corporations and lawmakers are most at fault for the emissions, not you (more on this later).

It is hard to put into words for me because I am so passionate about two controversial things:

1. traveling, to experience new foods and cultures and people and languages, and

2. sustainability and trying to save all of the beautiful things that I want to see

I am writing this post because I just wanted to be completely honest that yes, I am still a part of the "zero-waste" movement but I am not going to give up traveling.

Traveling and my love for this Earth was my push to start living more sustainably in the first place so why would I give that up? I have always dreamt of traveling the world and now that I live 7,500 miles away from home (in the perfect position to see more of the world), why would I give that up?

One day, we will be back in the U.S. and when that time comes, we will be able to drive to do most of our traveling which is better for the environment. One day we will be able to travel more sustainably, but right now we physically can't.

And I guess that is the point. Not all of us have environmentally friendly options of travel. And I do believe that that should not stop you from going after your dreams and seeing the beauty that this world has to offer.

The most important things we can do as consumers is to vote (literally) and vote with your dollar. Try to find more sustainable types of transportation even if that just means choosing the best airline or choosing a direct flight instead of multiple. You can also make changes in other areas of your life that have an equally positive impact that giving up air travel would have, like giving up meat or shopping second hand (two of the leading causes of emissions are the meat and fashion industries).

This world is beautiful and everywhere I go has opened my eyes to new issues and new victories. I love meeting new people from every walk of life and learning new languages. I love seeing how other countries are doing sustainability better or worse than others and seeing what I can help implement at home.

I hope that this does not change your thoughts about me and me claiming to be an environmentalist. I still think there is so much else I (and we) can do to preserve this Earth so that it can be just this beautiful for generations to come.

Thanks for reading! Let me know what you think!


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Hey there! Thanks for stopping by! 

My name is Emma. I am a 20-year-old new to this sustainable lifestyle. I am here to give you my tips as I learn them and help beginners begin their sustainable life...


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