My new (old) travel policy

In the past years, I adjusted my personal travel habits to be more ecological and sustainable. Now I decided to step up the game.

Abandoned Airplane (Pexels)

I already decided for some fundamental rules to my personal, 90,000+km / year, travel- and commuting habits:

  • I don’t use any plane for distances short of 1,500km
  • I travel mainly by car and by train
  • When travelling by train, I use the 1st class and keep distance by booking single-seated options

My car has – for the past 12 years – always been a Diesel, with all modern cleaning technologies. I have used a BahnCard 50, which grants me 50% rebate of all inner-German travels via train, at least for what Deutsche Bahn covers. Since there is no such concept as peak- or offpeak-fares, this was very viable and it worked out once you had reached a spending of 500,– EUR per year.

After doing some research into feasibility and after wanting to improve upon my ecological footprint, I decided this as my plans for the next two years to be incorporated:

  • I don’t fly within Europe at all
  • My next car will be 100% electric
  • Commuting to the office will be done with zero carbon local footprint only
  • I will upgrade to a BahnCard 100 1st class
  • I will use my bike for short distance commuting (up to ~25km each direction)
  • I will just use a none-electrical car if it can not be circumvented
  • I will add solar panels to my roof to produce energy locally

The goal is to reduce my car-bound travels from roughly 70,000km in 2019 to appr. 35,000km in 2021. I shall use a car only for travelling, when there is no appropriate train connection available, or when I have to carry heavy or bulky luggage. All other trips can be done by train, given the health situation allows for it.

The most challenging aspect will be the switch to a fully electrical car, since I expect a minimum of 500km of range – not on paper, but in real-life situations, such as when driving on an Autobahn with 130km/h.

Tesla Model S (Source)

I understand currently only some Tesla Models matching these requirements – all of the German engineered cars may have such a range on paper, but not in real life. On the other hand, it will be very rewarding – I anyhow used 100% renewable energy for the past 10 years, I am planning to add some solar panels to my house’s roof, ideally resulting in being able to sustain my local travels from my own energy sources and circumventing charging points for most of the time.

So, my new travel habits will be more:

  • More sustainable
  • More ecological
  • More healthy

To me, this is the right way to go, even if it is more expensive then continuing with the traditional approaches.

What do you think?

Photo: Vintage Trabant

20180715-012

50mm F/6.3 1/1250s ISO200, Sony Alpha II with Canon FD 50mm F/1.4 vintage lens, filtered using Adobe Lightroom Classic CC

Once upon a time (some 30 years ago), you had to wait up to 18 years for such a car – usually, the East-Germans ordered one after having given birth to a child. The Trabant was the only affordable car in East-Germany and was a super robust vehicle, which still runs today to thousands.

Impressive!

Five minutes late…

I am delivering a Xamarin workshop this week. Unfortunately for my sleeping habits, the location is Munich, appr. 550km away from home.

The best way to get there is by train, at least if you don’t like flying. So, my train was to depart at 4.30am. Which implied I would have to leave home at latest at 3.50am.

Well. So much for the theory.

In practice, I left home at 3.55am. Which caused me to directly head on the Autobahn towards Munich. Instead of having a somewhat relaxed trip to the Bavarian capital, I had an unrelaxing one in my car. And instead of elegantly driving with an ICE-train from Munich to Frankfurt and then back home on Friday, I’ll drive back home on Thursday and try to catch the morning train from Berlin to Frankfurt on Friday, since I don’t want do sit in my car for 10+ hours.

This makes five minutes quite important.

And that’s why I try to keep an eye on the details, though I’m the high-level guy at Cloudibility.