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Flight free in 2022: Erin and family

"Not flying this year, or next year, or maybe ever, is one of those choices for our family. It's one way for us to be part of the solution to climate change and not part of the problem."

FlightFree UK
21 Oct 2021 3 min read

Image shows a couple kneeling down outside with their two children holding a phone that says flight free for the climate on the screen. Both parents have brown hair. All four of them have their faces painted, Erin and her partner have small planet Earths on their cheeks, their son has the Earth painted to cover his face and their daughter has pink face paint.

A relative said to me, "I want to see the barrier reef before it's too late." A work colleague commented on how important travel is. A friend said, "I care about the environment but I still want to LIVE." 

It's hard to buck the trend. As a clinical psychologist, I understand that it is possible for us to care about the environment but then jet off on exotic holidays and not acknowledge the contradiction. It's human to make convenient divides in our consciousness to avoid guilt or other unpleasant feelings, but it's not going to move us forward with the climate crisis we are all facing.

"Climate change can seem far off so we can find it hard to feel a personal responsibility."

As yet there's no powerful social pressure to live sustainably. Yes, it's nice to line up your mason jars on an attractive shelf, and wear an eco branded hoody, but if we're really going to accept some personal responsibility in all this we have to make some tougher choices. Not flying this year, or next year, or maybe ever, is one of those choices for our family.

"It's one way for us to be part of the solution to climate change and not part of the problem."

Once you've made that choice it opens up all the joyful local opportunities. We've embraced camping and going to friends and families for holidays. I've had people comment on what our kids might miss out on by not flying but I have learnt that putting "holiday" in front of any kind of trip = holiday to them. I don't think they are missing out. Maybe once they are older we'll feel the need to get them abroad to widen their horizons but there's always boats! 

We'll be staying flight free for the foreseeable future as part of our commitment to live more sustainably. Thanks to the Flight Free UK team for encouraging us.

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