As a student of Renewable Energy Engineering and a consistent reader of many different travel blogs and bloggers, I have always been interested in calculating the impact long-term, regular travel could be having on the environment.
Just recently the whole world has experienced some extraordinary weather conditions with the snow storms in America, heat wave in Australia and flooding in the UK. While the political and scientific community as a whole has no clear stance on Climate Change being the cause, there is no doubt a strong correlation between the two.
So does the travel blogging community have a responsibility to promote more environmentally friendly ways to travel or as the majority of travelers have no fixed abode, are they actually accountable for fewer emissions than their home dwelling counterparts. I decided to find out.
In order to determine just how environmentally friendly travel bloggers are we first need to determine the carbon emitted from different methods of transport. The graph below shows the grams of carbon dioxide equivalent emitted per passenger Kilometer.
I must mention that these figures are only averages taken from UK transport data. However as calculating the figures for each country and for each specific vehicle type would be nearly impossible, these provide a good base from which to compare our bloggers.
As well as the total kilometers and carbon emitted from each blogger I will also determine their travel efficiency (the average amount of carbon emitted for every kilometer they travelled) and the amount of trees they need to plant in order to offset their 2013 travel emissions.
It is estimated that one broad leaf tree such as an Oak or Maple over its life time will offset 1 tonne of carbon dioxide emissions.
I emailed some of mine and the webs favorite travel bloggers and asked them to provide me with an outline of their travels over 2013. I was only concerned with traveling to different destinations as any traveling around one location would be considered the same as traveling around town if you live in house and therefore these cancelled out.
I won’t be posting each of their full travel itineraries here as this would make for a very long post but most of the bloggers have summarised their 2013 travels on their own sites so I recommend checking them out.
The Travelista – Jess Gibson @travelistajess
Jess Gibson a.k.a The Travelista is a jet-setting, fun-loving 20-something travel blogger. She is the girl behind The Travelista blog, which documents her many travel adventures, luxury hotel reviews and friendly blogging advice posts for prospective travel bloggers.
By day, Jess works full time as Deputy Editor of a luxury lifestyle publication. By night, she is busy growing The Travelista empire and working on freelance travel magazine features. By combining her personal and professional travels, Jess has built up a collection of funny, entertaining and inspiring travel stories that continues to grow. In 2013 The Travelista was nominated to win Best Travel Blog at Cosmopolitan Magazine’s Cosmo Blog Awards.
Kilometers Traveled = 14,896 Km Carbon Emitted = 1,449 KgCO2
Travel Efficiency = 97.24 gCO2/Km Trees to be Planted = 2
The Planet D – Dave and Deb @theplanetd
The Planet D inspires adventure in everyone. Dave & Deb are one of travel’s most passionate storytellers; exploring the world one experience at a time. Married for over 15 years, they travel the globe showcasing their real-time journey and broadcasting their stories through travel writing, photography, video and engaging social media. As spokespeople and international ambassadors, The Planet D have had the opportunity to work with some of the world’s top companies and brands – while discovering more than 80 countries on all seven continents. Dave & Deb aim to inspire people to follow their dreams and push their boundaries and have spoken around the world about pursuing passion and what it takes to make it happen.
Kilometers Traveled = 89,760 Km Carbon Emitted = 9,289 KgCO2
Travel Efficiency = 103.49 gCO2/Km Trees to be Planted = 10
Great Big Scary World – Jamie Bowlby-Whiting @jamierbw
Jamie spent recent months cycling across Europe on an old bicycle, rafting down the Danube on a homemade pirate ship, and hitchhiking eastern Europe. Currently he is in South Korea with the intention of walking around Asia for an extended period of time as he hopes to push his boundaries and silence the fears of his past.
You can follow his adventures through his blog or get updates via Facebook.
Kilometers Traveled = 21,142 Km Carbon Emitted = 2,186 KgCO2
Travel Efficiency = 103.39 gCO2/Km Trees to be Planted = 3
Never Ending Footsteps – Lauren Juliff @NEFootsteps
Lauren is a physicist turned digital nomad and freelance travel writer who has been traveling the world on a permanent basis since 2011. She mostly writes about how NOT to travel — since being on the road she’s punched a scammer in Shanghai, been violated during a massage in Bangkok, sat next to a dead woman in Laos and had several teeth destroyed by an evil Thai dentist.
Kilometers Traveled = 52,497 Km Carbon Emitted = 6,126 KgCO2
Travel Efficiency = 116.69 gCO2/Km Trees to be Planted = 7
Travel. Experience. Live – Bram Reusen @TravExpeLive
For over three years now Bram has been wandering the globe, with temporary jobs here and there in between. So far, he has been to four continents and twenty-two countries. His travel adventures include driving a car across Australia, riding a bicycle to the North Cape and back home, crossing the North Sea on a cargo ship, and spending three months in Ireland, among many other things.
He likes to try different styles of travelling: from backpackers to adventurer to tourist to local, he has been all those stereotypes and probably will be many more in the future. His blog focuses on adventure travel and lately photography has taken a prominent place as well.
Kilometers Traveled = 33,827 Km Carbon Emitted = 3,162 KgCO2
Travel Efficiency = 93.48 gCO2/Km Trees to be Planted = 4
I Should Tend To My Sunburn – Emily Brewster @sunburntemily
Emily is a a twenty-something recent graduate interested in travel, volunteering and international development. She has always loved to travel and has lived in Ireland, the UK, Holland and Gabon so far – and this month she’s moving to Sudan for six months!
Her voluntary work has taken her from South Africa to Honduras to South Korea, and she has loved every second of it. Although she has only been blogging for a few months she is enjoying it a lot, especially connecting with other travelers and sharing experiences. Her website charts her mission to visit every country in the world (31 so far) and also gives advice and suggestions for all things travel related.
Kilometers Traveled = 10,287 Km Carbon Emitted = 969 KgCo2
Travel Efficiency = 94.20 gCO2/Km Trees to be Planted = 1
Totally Sam’s World – Samantha @TravelSamsWorld
Samantha is known as the ‘Pole Dancing Travel Geek’. She has hung up her stilettos, packed her backpack and boarded flights to places she had never thought of going to before. Documenting her fabulous travel experiences on her blog ‘Totally Sam’s World’, you can join Sam on her mission to see the real world, and hear her spill the beans on the geekiness and gossip she encounters! Samantha has many passions in life; she’s a dancer, shopaholic, music lover, keen writer and dreamer.
Kilometers Traveled = 51,382 Km Carbon Emitted = 4,965 KgCO2
Travel Efficiency = 96.63 gCO2/Km Trees to be Planted = 5
The Well-Travelled Postcard – Virginia Stuart-Taylor @VStuartTaylor
Having studied Modern Languages at university, Viginia had the fantastic (and hugely recommended) opportunity to do a Third Year Abroad. This took her to Córdoba in Spain for 6 months, and to Modena in Italy for 6 months. Before starting university she also took a Gap Year and had an incredible 10 months abroad, backpacking around Cuba, China and South-East Asia and fitting in two ski seasons in Chile and Italy. Needless to say, she caught the travel bug.
Kilometers Traveled = 64,818 Km Carbon Emitted = 7,143 KgCO2
Travel Efficiency = 110.21 gCO2/Km Trees to be Planted = 8
Crazy Sexy Fun Traveler – Alexandra Kovacova @sexyfuntraveler
Alexandra Kovacova is a crazy Slovak girl who made traveling the reason of her life. She quit modeling to finish University and then she quit a stewardess job to follow her biggest dream of traveling around the world. Her motto is ”I live to travel, I travel to live.” Alex writes about her crazy travel, fun adventures and sexy photos on her blog Crazy Sexy Fun Traveler.
Kilometers Traveled = 49,883 Km Carbon Emitted = 4,809 KgCO2
Travel Efficiency = 96.40 gCO2/Km Trees to be Planted = 5
Each of the bloggers results have been placed in the table below which you can easily sort to find out who travelled the furthest, who emitted the most carbon, who travelled the most efficiently and who needs to plant the most trees.
|Carbon Emitted |
|Travel Efficiency |
|Jess Gibson||The Travelista||14,896||1449||97.24||2
|Dave and Deb||The Planet D||89,760||9289||103.49||10
|Jamie Bowlby-Whiting||Great Big Scary World||21,142||2186||103.39||3
|Lauren Juliff||Never Ending Footsteps||52,497||6126||116.69||7
|Bram Reusen||Travel. Experience. Live||33,827||3162||93.48||4
|Emily Brewster||I Should Tend to my Sunburn||10,287||969||94.2||1
|Samantha||Totally Sam's World||51,382||4965||96.63||5
|Virginia Stuart-Taylor||The Well-Travelled Postcard||64,818||7143||110.21||8
|Alexandra Kovacova||Crazy Sexy Fun Traveler||49,883||4809||96.4||5
On average the bloggers featured here emitted 4,455 KgCO2 or just under 4.5 tonnes. If we compare this to the average carbon emitted by homes in the UK and USA, 3.2 tonnes and 10.4 tonnes respectively, we can see that long-term consistent travel may not be as environmentally damaging as many people first think. Although we should still all try to travel as efficiently as possible and do our parts to offset any carbon we may have emitted during the year.
I just want to end this post by saying a big thank you to all the travel bloggers that kindly provided me with the details of their travels over 2013.
I hope you found this post interesting and that you will help to share it with your friends using the buttons below.