In just over a week’s time Barbara Haddrill will set off on a journey to attend her best friend’s wedding as a bridesmaid. But she is not going to fly the 10,000 miles from her home in Wales to Brisbane in Australia. She is going to go by bus, train and boat. After spending two months in Australia she will come back again by sea and land. She will not fly anywhere on the journey.

Instead of 22 hour Quantas flight to Australia with a quick stopover in Singapore, Barbara, who is a committed environmental activist, will take seven weeks to travel to Australia. Her journey will take her by coach to Moscow, then on the Trans-Siberian Railway for the 3,608-mile journey across Russia to the Chinese capital, Beijing. It will then take her three weeks to cross China, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand and Malaysia by bus and train before reaching Singapore, where she will board a cargo ship for Brisbane.

By refusing to fly, Barbara, who has been dubbed an “eco-bridesmaid” by the british press, will save several tones of CO2. A flight to Australia produces 5.2 tonnes of carbon dioxide per passenger. So there and back is 10.4 tonnes. By overland in contrast she believes she will produce just 1.4 tonnes of CO2 getting there or 2.8 tonnes for the whole journey.

Barbara has written a blog about her forthcoming journey, which is attracting both positive and negative opinions. Check it out here. So far she has attracted a positive article in the Independent and a nasty cheap one in today’s Guardian which says “What a shame she hasn’t got time to cycle there”.

Good one Barbara for raising the ecological cost of flying again. The truth is that it is the mainstream media that are being hypocritical over flying – they warn us about the dangers of climate change – but the Guardian has offers of cheap flights on its website today. Without fossil fuel advertising the paper would not survive.

So well done Babs and good luck with your trip.


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