Here we are, our 11 months of cycling adventures on the roads and paths of South East Asia, Japan and Central America are ending! Like all of you, we will confine ourselves for a few weeks and take the opportunity to rest, see our loved ones (but not too close!) And reflect on our possible futures. Through this site or on other occasions, we will find a thousand and one ways to tell, tell and remember the beauties, the galleys, the cultural specificities of each country and especially our adventures on two wheels.
In this article, we would rather present to you the (partial) carbon footprint of our trip, that is to say our CO2 emissions linked to transport generated by this last year of travel. Even if we have always taken care to leave each place visited intact and free of all kinds of pollution, we still moved around a lot, from one continent to another. And the atmosphere, unfortunately, will store our emitted molecules for a while. They will stagnate all up there, reflect, warm and upset our world so much…
400 kgCO2eq, from our references *, is the quantity of carbon dixoxide that we “may” or rather “must” emit at most per month by 2030 to limit global warming to 2 ° C. In total over 11 months, in transport, we each emitted 533 kgCO2 per month… 33% too much 🙁
No need to investigate so much, long distance flights are definitely responsible !
- Berlin > Singapore = 1540 kg
- Hanoï > Tokyo = 600 kg
- Tokyo > Los Angeles = 1360 kg
- Panama > Madrid (via La Habana) = 1450 kg
In total, it represents 85% of our emissions…
Thus, we will accept all your critics and it will be very difficult for us to convince you about the legitimacy of this carbon emitted. We therefore now have to save much more our use of polluting energies for the years to come …. As for voluntary compensation, this is a gesture we are thinking about but which is a little expensive for us by now (after 1 year of travel) and which also has its faults and detractors. **
However, we managed to travel without borrowing any personal car or internal flight, and the graphics are pretty clear on the “air freshness” achieved by using bike and multimodal journeys!
From May to September 2019 for example, from Singapore to Hanoi, we took only 3 trains and a couple of buses.
Result: 120 kg emitted only in 5 months 🙂 By bike + bus + train, our journey of almost 5000km emitted as much as a journey from Bordeaux to Grenoble in a private car.
Another small satisfaction, our crossing by sailboat from Acapulco to Costa Rica will have emitted about 170 kg. The same trip for two by plane would have “cost” triple.
We have not estimated a full carbon assessment including food and energy but we think that we have traveled “light” on these 2 contributors: few meat, cereals, fruits, local vegetables and a fairly rare use air conditioning, having our own tent or favoring fans if necessary (not to mention non-existent heating and domestic hot water not very available in tropical countries …).
Beyond the figures, we have the feeling of having succeeded in adopting a few simple gestures (small stocks of basic food in the panniers and water to avoid compulsive consumption), in not degrading the air quality of the regions crossings (often already in bad shape) and to bring our level of comfort back to basics.
Sobriety and traveling by bike can therefore both be a good daily routine but remain contradictory during international air transfers.
*App “North – Your climate journey” is available and free on Google Play. Authors sources are detailed in this article : https://www.tmrow.com/climatechange#objective–2-tons
** About this topic, we suggest this french podcast: