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2021 podcast series: New Year's Resolutions

To ring in the New Year we talk to Lenny, Jo, Gope, Dominick and Lizzie about why they have made the Flight Free 2021 pledge.

19 Jan 2021 2 min read

This podcast is episode 1 of our #FlightFree2021 series. You can listen to the podcast here, and access the rest of the series at our podcast page.

Picture shows a collage of close up pictures of the 5 people being interviewed in the podcast.

This month, Kirsty and Rachel are talking about New Year’s resolutions.

We hear from five people who have made the Flight Free 2021 pledge: Lenny from Cardiff, Jo from Edinburgh, Gope from Newcastle, Dominick from the Republic of Ireland, and Lizzie from Cheshire.

Lizzie used to dream about travelling all over the world, but became aware of the climate impact of aviation and had to park that particular dream.

Lenny works as a musician, and has pledged not to fly for leisure ever again if possible. Work is a different matter, as many orchestras tour frequently. Lenny is hoping to encourage the orchestra only to tour by train within Europe.

Flight Free fact:

Most flights are for leisure: 63% in 2019, as opposed to 10% for business. This year, our flight free pledge includes the option not to fly leisure, as some people might be asked to fly for work, or have to fly for family reasons.

Jo decided to stop flying after a trip to Peru. The number of flights she took on that holiday made her realise how unsustainable it was. She talks about how we need system change and it can’t all be down to us as individuals, but it’s important for us to use our consumer power to demand those changes.

Flight Free fact:

Flights make up the most significant part of your carbon footprint. One trip to Peru emits more CO2 than a resident of Peru will in an entire year.

Gope took the flight free pledge in 2020, and before that would have put himself in the top 10% of flyers in the UK, with frequent work trips and many training trips for his triathlons. During flight free 2020, instead of heading to Mallorca or Lanzarote, Gope went to Wales and the Lake District. He said, even though it’s a bit colder and the roads aren’t great, the UK mountains and lakes are as beautiful as any in the world.

Dominick hasn’t flown for 20 years. He talks about how we can change the norm in conversations around flying, and how important it is to talk about the issue with the people around us. Even though his son lives in Switzerland, he chooses to take the train to go and visit.

Flight Free fact:

Research shows that if you know someone who has given up flying, you are more likely to give up flying (or fly less) yourself.

Our five contributors give us their top tips for taking and keeping the Flight Free 2021 pledge:

Lizzie says, don't feel like you're missing out by taking the pledge. Not flying doesn't mean not travelling, so get excited about how to do it and where to go.

Gope says, see the travel as part of the adventure. Usually the holiday starts when you get to B, but if you change your mindset and see the adventure starting when you leave A, you'll love 2021!

Jo says, get used to a lack of sleep! Snacks and podcasts are a great way of getting through long bus journeys.

Lenny says, stick to your convictions. Changing your lifestyle can seem daunting so do it a little at a time.

Dominick says, just keep having those conversations. That way you can make people change how they think about things.

Destination of the month:

In our regular feature, Kirsty and Rachel talk about their top pick for a destination of the month. This time, they talk about their favourite beaches to visit for a bracing January stroll.

You can listen to this full podcast here, and access the rest of the series at our podcast page.