Bus Travel: the Conscientious Choice?

Bus travel: better views, fewer carbon emissions
Bus travel: better views, fewer carbon emissions

Coach/bus travel on the whole has a bit of a poor reputation: you may envision a miserable journey on a Megabus or National Express (or Greyhound or Trailways) with only the bleak view and only other tightly-packed passengers for company.

While this may be the case in the UK and US, travelling by coach across the rest of the world is something quite different. For a start we’re keen to see and experience new things, so Β travelling by coach enables us to pursue this: you have the opportunity to soak it all in. This makes coach travel a more attractive option than travelling by air. This is not the only advantage: coach travel is by far the greenest form of travel.

Green Your Trip: Travel by Bus

A coach only emits the same amount of CO2 as four cars put together, so encouraging people to take the coach instead of the car has great benefits.Β In the US, one full coach has the potential of removing 55 cars from the road, thus significantly reducing congestion, emissions and and gas consumption. The UK’s Milestone Tours has an informative table that breaks down carbon emissions by transportation type.

Coach America has also taken further measures to ensure that their service is even more economically friendly with using biofuels. Biodiesel is a naturally grown, alternative fuel source. It’s a cleaner burning fuel and therefore substantially reduces emissions of pollutants, such as air toxics and hydrocarbons.Β It also provides significant reductions in greenhouse gases that cause global warming. Because it’s home grown, it reduces dependence on foreign oil, and is renewable. When oil spills do occur, there is very little damage from biodiesel because it is biodegradable. Studies have even shown that it can decrease wear on the life of an automotive engine by up to half.

Travelling within the UK is one thing, but for those trips abroad the coach is rising in popularity. Mainly because, like the car, it can take holidaymakers to specific destinations that would normally require a car. The impact of one coach taking a small group to a chosen destination is minimal if you consider the carbon footprint of each one of the group taking their own car.

This has caused a shift in consumer perception: no more is the coach the forgotten option, but aligned with the relative economy of this mode of travel and the number of countries that can be visited on a small budget, coach travel not only the most affordable option but also the greenest.

While there are many things you can do to lessen your impact on the environment, consider a way to lower the carbon footprint of your travel.

Written on behalf of National Holidays

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Image credit: momentcaptured1 at Flickr under a Creative Commons license

Written by jessicahodkinson

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