The flight-shame movement is spreading in Europe
Posted on 15/09/2019


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The anti-flying movement known as flygskam in Swedish, or flight-shame has been spreading across Europe over the past year. It encourages travelers to reduce their carbon footprint and to rediscover slow travel, by taking trains instead of planes.

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© givaga / 123RF

Flight-shame, or flygskam in Swedish, is becoming increasingly popular in Europe. This term was invented as part of a movement that aims to encourage travelers to reduce their carbon footprint by not taking planes and by changing their travel habits. This anti-flying movement originated in Sweden last year and hopes to play a real part in the fight against climate change.

Even if the word shame conveys a negative undertone, the effects of taking trains instead of planes (when it is possible of course) could be very beneficial to the environment. Less flying would trigger less carbon emissions, and would help protect the planet. The idea was publicly embraced by Malena Ernman, mother of the famous teenage activist Greta Thunberg who recently traveled from Europe to The United States in a zero-carbon boat.

This summer, British vacationers have been voluntarily picking trash while on vacation abroad as part of "beach clean", an activity proposed by the Thomas Cook travel agency. More than 1,500 people have taken part in the initiative since it was launched at 16 Thomas Cook's hotels. "Thanks to Greta Thunberg and other activists, as consumers we're becoming much more aware of the impact that our behaviour is having on the planet," Alice Macandrew, Thomas Cook's corporate affairs director declared.

The flygskam or flight-shame movement has even taken over Instagram with the creation of an account dedicated to calling out celebrities promoting holidays to distant destinations. The movement also encourages travelers to share their efforts and post pictures of their travel by train on social media, using the Swedish hashtag #tagskryt, which means "train brag" in English.

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