Float Plan - Another Way to Avoid the Plane

Every time we have a post on Treehugger about air travel, we end up creating a huge debate (witness here and here for just two examples). While the exact numbers are up for debate, there is certainly an increased focus by many on the climate impacts of aircraft, both in terms of their direct greenhouse gas emissions, as well as the additional effects of contrails and the increased impact that NOx emissions have in the upper atmosphere (a summary of aviation impacts can be found here). Even the world-famous Rough Guides travel books are now asking people to consider alternatives to flying where practical, and anecdotal evidence suggests that many people with environmental leanings, at least in this Treehugger’s circle of friends, are beginning to consider different routes for their holidays. But what are the alternatives?

We have previously shown the extreme measures taken by some, such as the overland trip from the UK to Australia taken by one environmentalist to attend her friends wedding. Others may be less adventurous, but there are still much greener alternatives for many short-haul flights, especially in Europe.Seat 61 is a good place to start for details of rail travel all over the world. And now we have one more suggestion to add to the list, though it is probably only practical for those of you with plenty of time on your hands – Float Plan. This website offers a facility for travelers to find positions as crew members of yachts and sail boats. Of course, those wishing to travel green, as opposed to just slow, would need to be careful about which positions they accept – I can’t imagine being a cabin boy on a luxury motor cruiser is any greener than hopping on your nearest jet, but there are also a lot of traditional sail boats. And what could be greener than making your way across the ocean by hitching a ride powered by the wind? [Written by: Sami Grover]

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