Greener travel from the 2010s, into the 2020s and beyond…
To kick off a whole new decade, the Greenredeem team are looking back at the green success stories of the last ten years, looking around at the big eco-developments happening right now, and looking ahead towards the next generation of sustainable change.
2010s: City bikes colonised London
Since the launch of the original Barclays-sponsored public bike rental scheme back in 2010, Londoners and visitors to the city have made more than 74 million emission-free journeys in these sturdy saddles.
Now the largest cycle hire scheme in Europe, the network of over 750 docking stations has expanded to connect more than 40 square miles of London and put millions of people within easy reach of eco-friendly wheels.
2010s: Boom in British holidaymaking and ‘staycationing’
Over the last decade, us Brits became increasingly likely to pick a domestic holiday destination over flying to foreign climes. And why not, when there are so many incredible places to explore right here in the UK?
Many others decided that all the rigmarole of going on holiday was too much like work.
Cosy, eco-friendly staycations were touted as the new big thing: quality time spent at home, a break with the usual routine combined with an added dose of fun or luxury.
2020s: Digital detox holidays?
As more and more of our day-to-day interactions with the world happen online, travel forecasters predict a big trend towards digital detox holidays. No phones, tablets, laptops or smart gear allowed!
Makes perfect sense to us. How can we truly relax if we’re checking our messages and the news headlines hundreds of times a day? If we’re still seeing ‘urgent’ work emails arrive? Or constantly sizing up potentially Instagrammable or Facebookable photo opportunities?
By coming offline, we can reconnect with enjoyment at a slower pace: listening to a whole album, reading a book from cover to cover, getting into a deep and meaningful conversation, absorbing a view without trying to frame it inside a photograph. We can reconnect with real life – and the people who share it with us.
2020s: Getting there in greener style?
Back in the summer, Greta Thunberg’s non-flying visit across the Atlantic along with the controversy surrounding Harry and Meghan’s use of private jets kickstarted a wider debate about the environmental costs of frequent flying.
In the 2020s, we’ll grow ever more attuned to how our transport choices affect the global climate. A recent report commissioned by the independent Committee on Climate Change advised phasing out frequent flyer incentives schemes. It even went so far as to suggest replacing these with disincentive schemes, tracking air miles via passport numbers and charging an ‘air miles levy’ to discourage the racking up of excess flight time.
The winds are already changing. Faced with the realities of climate change, it’s likely that many more of us, like Greta, will pledge to be flight free, instead opting for rail, road or human-powered travel.
2030s: The age of the ePlane?
“This will be remembered as the day the electric aviation age started.”
A quote from an American journalist writing less than a month ago, on 10th December 2019 to be precise. He was covering the flight of the first commercial all-electric plane, the Harbour Air ePlane.
This tiny island hopper craft is just the beginning for electric planes. Though current batteries can’t hold enough power to get a standard passenger jet off the ground, the extraordinarily rapid developments in battery capacity and efficiency could propel Jumbo-sized, renewable-powered ePlanes along long-haul flight paths far sooner than we can imagine.