Exactly one year ago, I meant to take the train from Helsinki to London. I had it all planned out and had bought tickets, but illness, train-strikes and sudden passport controls on the Swedish-Danish border made me cancel the trip last minute.
One year ago, I was on my way to spend 6 months as an exchange student in London. Since flying to London that one time in January 2016 I have flied back and forth between London and Helsinki way too many times. My personal contribution to climate change has probably doubled in this one year. Although I have been climate compensating by donating to different environmental projects it doesn’t really solve the problem.
The problem is: flying is very energy inefficient. The problem is also that since it’s so fast, people can use it a lot. Everyone is going to have to change their habits a bit, if our society wants to solve some quite pressing environmental issues. Changing from planes to trains is the future, so I thought, better to start changing the habits now!
I’m taking the train from Helsinki to London instead of flying because:
- Trains are more environmentally friendly. Trains can run on electricity whereas planes always run on fossil fuels and the countries I’m passing (Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Belgium and the UK) trains emit approximately 30-50% of what planes emit per person per kilometre.
- I think it’s wrong trains are more expensive than flying. I hope to get the attention of some legislators in the EU and European countries. There needs to be a political change that subsidises train prices and taxes flights!
- The aviation industry isn’t officially taking any responsibility for climate issues. There’s no international agreements saying that emissions from aviation should decrease! I want to raise attention to that too.
- I hope to inspire you. Perhaps quite few people will do train journeys this long, but I hope that I can make some of you stop for a few seconds and think whether you could actually choose train instead of plane on shorter journeys, like Stockholm-Copenhagen, London-Paris or Helsinki-Rovaniemi. Slow travelling can be really fun too!
I’m on my way to London and I’ll be video blogging along the way! I’ll update at least twice a day for the next two days, so check in every now and then!