So as you saw in the previous post I went to all the effort of taking the train to Barcelona last week to try to reduce the number of flights I take and then I go and book a flight to Thailand. Duh! Well my reasons are selfish I suppose – the opportunity came along to take a few weeks holiday, I needed to get out of the country for personal reasons and my best mate happened to be in Thailand at that time. Still doesn’t quite make it right does it? Surely everyone has an “excuse” for flying?
This will be the last flight I take for a while. I don’t believe in flying anywhere for a couple of days – if you are going to fly, then fly somewhere for a decent period of time. It’s the short haul flights that people take for a long weekend (or even a day!) that are ultimately doing the damage. (Yes I hold my hand up I’ve done it too). However the only long term solution to stop this is by making flying more expensive – make the price of flights more reflective of the damage it is doing. People will still fly but it will then become something you think about (£400return to Paris for the weekend, I’ll take the train; £1000 to Thailand – people will still do it but will save up and think about the costs first.)
So rather than offsetting my CO2 by planting trees, the monetary value of the 2.3kg of CO2 that my journey will produce has been invested in an international communities portfolio through the Carbon Neutral Company. My money could help a community in Sri Lanka to install solar panels for lighting rather than buring Kerosene oil (just like I am doing flying 1/2 way across the world 🙁 )
2 other recent “ethical” investments I’ve made. The first is a great site kiva.org, where you can directly loan money to people in poorer countries who don’t normally have access to banks so they can start their own businesses. I’ve lent some money to Sokrorn Kam in Cambodia who wants to start her own fruit and vegetable shop. She has a blog so hope it all goes well for her! (Not sure about buying cows though..)
Finally I bought a piece (32m2) of Fordhall Farm in the form of a non-profit making share. They need £800k by the 1st of July to continue as an Organic farm. It’s a great story and hopefully they’ll do it, otherwise the giant Muller farm next door might come along and destroy all their hard work.