Traveling by plane is convenient for taking us far, far away. But air transport is not without consequence on our environment: it is the most polluting transport. Unfortunately it is too often requested for short distances. So, let’s limit this means of transport to cases of force majeure!
The plane: a tangible pollution
Through their consumption of oil, air transport emits greenhouse gases in large quantities, but also polluting gases harmful to health such as nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide or carbon monoxide. More precisely, the emission of CO2/km is estimated at 118g for a long-haul flight and at 145g CO2/km for a domestic flight . Indeed, it is during take-off and landing that the greatest emissions of pollutants and CO2 are recorded.
Another problem arises, it is that of the noise pollution of which the populations overflown by the planes are victims.
To prevent the sky from falling on our heads, it is therefore preferable to favor the train to the plane, especially for short and medium distances. Indeed, the train is the least polluting and most efficient means of transport in France (even before the car). You should know that over an equivalent distance, the plane emits on average 300 times more CO2 than the train.
The train, the least polluting mode of transport
The network of major TGV lines is seriously beginning to expand and it can be estimated that below
700 km, the train saves time and pollution compared to the plane! Regulars of the airport know it well: you have to arrive 1h to 2h in advance, plan the journeys entering and leaving the airport or even make a stopover of several hours…
In a world preoccupied with the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the train is becoming the ideal mode of transport. With an emission of 13 g CO2 / km, the TGV is even ahead of the electric car with 22 g CO2 / km! For example, a Nantes-Lyon journey emits 102 kg of CO2 per plane passenger. By train, this journey represents only 3.2 kg of CO2.
Take your time and put things into perspective on vacation
If the only solution to connect Paris to New York is a long-haul flight, it is still quite possible to visit all the major French or European cities using “cleaner” transport. So stay away from the plane or the car to test InterRail for example, and limit your ecological footprint!
The trip itself is part of the pleasure of a vacation because, “in a trip, it is not the destination that counts but always the path taken, and especially the detours.” ( Philippe Pollet-Villard) . So why not take the opportunity to take your time and do some slow travel ?
Slow travel, otherwise known as eco-tourism or responsible tourism , is an aspiration to new consumption rather well adopted by the French and Europeans. This trend is more in line with a state of mind to adopt. This means, for example, no longer planning to spend a single night there but settling in a place for several days , and soaking up the place. It is also an opportunity to meet great people and leave room for the unexpected! In short, enjoy the moment!