CARBON DIOXIDE? THat's not right!
From Amsterdam to Colorado (America) without a planE / #itraveldifferent
We all travel. We fly to sunny destinations and take our car to work. We are left to wonder as to what the environmental impact is of all of our travels. How can we reduce the CO2 footprint of our transportation infrastructure? And why is this important anyway?
For comparison: a flight of four persons from Amsterdam to Bali and back produces around 16’000 kg of CO2 .In turn, it takes 800 trees one year to convert this CO2 back into biomass throughphotosynthesis.
A climate scientist with one goal
Climate scientist Joep thinks we can travel differently. He has been fascinated by the climate crisis since his high school years. ,,I remember vividly how I - as part of my high school graduation - explored the potential of solar panels to cover our school’s energy demand. Obviously, my solar panel was only ready for testing when the deadline of my project had passed and I could barely power a LED light. Still, I was very impressed by the project's potential.''
Now, 10 years later, Joep has acquired his doctorate in climate geology. ,,Climate geologists like me wonder every day what awaits us when we do not meet the 2°C target of the Paris agreement. Not a day goes by without me asking myself: when will we embrace sustainable energy as the sole solution to the world-wide climate crisis?''
Can boats, bikes and busses
provide both joy and a reduced CO2 footprint?
In ‘Carbon Dioxide? That's not right!’ Joep takes you on his quest from start to finish, while he poses his questions to the people that he meets along the way. He investigates whether or not it is possible to travel from the Netherlands to the USA in a way that can be sustained, while he elaborates on the challenges that have to be overcome.
On his trip, Joep completely disregards air travel, preferring sailing boats and his bike. This choice is not an easy one. To travel to the USA without the use of an airplane, he is to overcome several challenges: sea-sickness, being unreachable to friends and family for 4 weeks and having to travel for a very long time. You have to be seriously committed to undertake such a trip!
Yet, Joep awaits an amazing adventure. He meets people from all over the world, hears the most incredible stories, enters some of the most pristine places on our planet and makes lots of new friends. But above all, he achieves the sole goal of his trip: create awareness among people on the wonderful world of sustainable travel!
Awareness for sustainable travel
We need to become more sustainable in our day-to-day lifes. You hear it everywhere. We have to do things differently, but how? For trips to the outskirts of our planet, people often choose to fly. Joep thinks that this has to change. "I try to live my life sustainably, every day. The trip to my new job in Colorado fits perfectly in this mindset – yes, mindset. I want to travel to Colorado, but emit little CO2 on the way, how do I manage that?"
Joep is not the only one who struggles with this question. Hence, he decided to document his trip to create awareness. "With 'Carbon Dioxide? That's not right!'I hope to reach people that fly a lot. Maybe my documentary will engage them to explore other ways or stop flying all-together."
40 days to complete our goal!
On January 4th Joep left Amsterdam by train and bus to Almería, Spain where he hopped aboard the Catamaran ‘Namaka’ of Capt. Robert Bachmann. Namaka then sailed through the Strait of Gibraltar to Las Palmas, Gran Canaria. On January 18th the Namaka left Las Palmas with three other crewmembers in the direction of Grenada in the Caribbean’s. Depending on the wind, the crossing takes 18 to 28 days.
On February 10th Joep arrived in Grenada. Mid-February Joep takes off to Florida. As the Namaka may slow down, Joep may have to find other sailing boats to take him further north. If everything goes according to plan, Joep will arrive in Florida beginning of March and then take a bus to New Orleans. From there he hopes to bike the last 1,420 miles to Boulder, Colorado. If time becomes limited, he will have to take some more busses to finally arrive at his new home for the next two years: Boulder.