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Jonas Sonnenschein

I pledge to be flight free for as long as the climate needs. Many people say that this is quite radical. For me it was the most pragmatic choice, once I had decided to contribute to solving the climate crisis. To make it clear from the start, I think that the impact we can have with our individual lifestyle choices is very limited (policy makers, where are you?). And no, I do not want to think about the climate in every consumption or lifestyle decision … way too tiring. That is why not flying is the most pragmatic thing to do. In order to make up for one transatlantic return flight I would have to save many thousands of plastic bags. This is not to say that I justify carbon-intensive behaviours with staying on the ground. It only means that I try to focus on the decisions that matter, while not always being overly rigid with low-impact lifestyle choices.

Not flying has not restricted my life. For a while I worked for a Swedish employer, parts of my family were in Germany, and I live in Ljubljana. In that period, I spent quite some time on night trains. This year I travel less, also due to COVID-19, but I am lucky that I live with my family in Slovenia, where we have snowy mountains, forests, the seaside, good food and cultural events close by. Yes, when I see pictures or films from exotic, far-away places I sometimes wish to go there. And when the climate, technology, or my (time) budget allow, I will go there. But it has to be worth it. Fast travel, instagramable holidays and the like, do not make me happy, so I don’t miss them at all.

Jonas Sonnenschein
Pragmatic environmentalist, Slovenia

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