It is no doubt that travelling around
the world is many people’s dream. Lots of Hong Kong people like
to take a journey during long holidays to experience exotic culture.
There were over one million passengers departed Hong Kong just on
the day before the Lunar New Year, it was a good sign indicating
that Hong Kong people are fond of travelling.
Public awareness on environmental protection is raising, low carbon
living is being advocated as well, people especially aware the importance
of energy saving and carbon reduction. Though tourism is considered
as “Smokeless Industry”, it is not inevitable that certain extend
of pollution are generated in transportation, accommodation as well
as catering, which should not be ignored.
Let’s start with transportation, which generates greenhouse gases
directly when travelling. Report predicted that airline industry
would double the scale compare with that in 2005. Indeed, duration
of journey can be saved significantly by taking airplane. However,
carbon emission from airplane is much more than other transportation
tools, and accounts for around 3-5% of the total emission in the
world. Take the one-way trip from Hong Kong to London directly by
airplane on economic class as example. Each passenger will release
680 kilogram carbon dioxide, which equals to keeping the air-conditioner
in operation for 970 hours at home! Moreover, huge amount of nitrogen
oxides and volatile organic compounds are produced when airplanes
taking off and landing. Photochemical smog will be generated when
these substances contact with the ultraviolet of sun, which affects
people’s respiratory system.
To tie in with low carbon travel, apart from taking airplane, many
transportation tools indeed can be considered. Railway networks
are well established in the world widely; passengers can not only
take the inter-city trains, but also can use the high speed railways
to travel between countries easily. Specific websites on train travelling
are also available online. For the same distance, travelling by
train is relatively time-consuming compare with taking flight indeed,
but it is much economical and comfortable. Passengers can walk around
freely to enjoy the scenery along the way, and can take pictures
at any time, which are exactly the joy of travelling. Moreover,
carbon emissions by train are much less than that from airplane.
If, for instance, travel by “EuroStar” train from London to Paris,
the carbon emission is only one-tenth compared to airplane. Also,
make good use of the inter-city public transportation system is
another choice. For example, taking bus, tram or bicycle instead
of in-land flights or renting cars, carbon footprint of travelling
can be reduced effectively, which is cost saving and environmentally
In addition, some companies have to arrange frequent business trips
due to business needs. Video conference would be a good substitute
if possible. If travelling by airplane is the only choice, purchasing
climate tickets can be considered to offset the carbon emissions.
Many airlines provide related carbon offset services with the funding
be used to support the renewable energy projects or tree planting
programmes. However, charges vary and the result does require a
long period of observation (such as the growth status of trees).
The world is wide, but we are living under the same sky. Greenhouse
gases are accelerating climate changes, and affecting different
regions. Therefore, reduce greenhouse gases from source by choosing
low carbon transportation tools is the first step of low carbon
With the development of high speed railway, which
is safe, comfortable and low-carbon, many tourists like to
take it .
Bike is welcome by travelers as it's cheap and