WHY FLIGHT FREE?
Did you know that if we want to avoid hitting the 2°C temperature increase in the next 12 years (and hitting the point of no return), we have to keep our carbon footprint between 1 and 2 tons per year, per person? Including every aspect of our lives. Transportation but also food, clothing, electricity and all the rest.
The average Belgian currently has a carbon footprint of over 8T per year, which makes them the 5th worst consumer in the world!
A return flight from Brussels to Cairo (Egypt being one of our favorite destinations, as Belgians) already emits more than 1T of CO2. A return flight from Brussels to Bali emits between 4and 7T of CO2 per person for a direct flight in economy. It is the sad truth. How can we justify doing this, when we have the option to travel closer without having to take the plane?
When we know all these number, another thing to consider is: who suffers from our actions?
Less than 10% of the world population has ever been on a plane. And only a fraction of those hop on a plane on a regular basis. So just the fact that we have the option to even consider flying, makes us extremely privileged. 99% deaths related to climate change occur in the world’s least developed countries, even though those countries only contribute to 1% of emissions. Knowing this, shouldn’t we ask ourselves if our little Easter getaway is worth putting our least privileged fellow humans at even more risk?
The climate crisis is acute – to limit global warming at a manageable, level the emissions need to decrease now. Many people are worried about the climate but feel powerless to do anything. But everyone can make a difference by changing their own lifestyle. Refraining from flying is one of the most impactful things you can do as an individual for the climate – and if many of us do it together we can make a huge reduction in our emissions.
Why 100 000?
As humans, we tend to act like those around us. For example, research shows that the most crucial factor in people recycling is if they believe that their neighbours do it, too. People are more likely to feel like it won’t matter if they stop flying, if everyone else flies more than ever. But if you know that 100.000 people are doing the same thing, it increases your motivation to act, too, and it is also a way to motivate those who have signed up to recruit more people to join the campaign.
Why one year?
To promise to give up flying forever is too much of a commitment for most people. A Flight Free year is a way to break a habit and to find alternative options. To make a short term commitment increases the chances of making a long term behavioural change.
We understand that some people HAVE to fly for work, family and medical reasons. We are talking to those who fly for leisure and have the option to take a break.