Learning not to fly

Justine Sherwood, Spain

Carbon footprint – we’re hearing about it all the time. What options do we have in our industry to make a difference? After jetting around the world for pleasure and work for many years, I decided to stop flying for a year. Was it possible to sustain my lifestyle and not fly anywhere, and does it really make a difference? Often, the first response to telling people you have given up flying is an indignant ‘but trains and ferries are just as bad’. But are they? A Barcelona–Amsterdam flight, although short and convenient, emits 117.1 kg of CO2 compared to 18.99 kg CO2 when you take the train. With scientists and organisations such as the UN warning that we only have a few years left to save the planet, why are we still flying so much?

After undertaking a 46-hour trip to get from Barcelona to Split for the MET conference last autumn, I started to document ways to make a difference and what needs to improve in the non-airline travel sector. How do you avoid waste when travelling for that long (plastic water bottles, food packaging, etc)? How do you ensure that you can work in peace on a seven- to eight-hour train journey? And what are your rights when things go wrong? We all know about the EU directive when you fly, but what rights do train and ferry passengers have?

This is a short presentation about how to find the best way to get where you need to go at the least cost to the environment.


About the presenter

Justine Sherwood

Justine Sherwood is a freelance legal translator currently based in Barcelona. Originally from England, where she never felt at home, she left for the more liberal climate of the Netherlands in 1989. She now lives in Spain and enjoys the best of both worlds – Mediterranean weather but working exclusively for Dutch clients. She has always been concerned about the environment and turned vegetarian when she was 13. In May 2019 she decided to trade in her carefree jet setting lifestyle and see if it was possible to live without flying in the 21st century.

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