Our Environmental Angle and Ethos

So the dream is that we can travel under the power of wind as our ancestors have for thousands of years. This simple slower way of moving about the planet should mean that our emissions could be tiny, but we have realized that the reality of our endeavor is far from the low carbon travel we had hoped for. Sure, we need to use the diesel engine sometimes, and sometimes even for days on end if we need to make a landfall for a particular date and the wind simply isn’t blowing, but it is the associated activity that allows the journey to be experienced by various people that really puts a spanner in the works. Our crew have already had to catch flights out to Spain, the Canaries or even across the UK to be able to come and be a part of the adventure. The late Patrick Whitefield called the flying issue “the elephant in the room’ when it came to conversations on sustainability and so we feel that we can no longer claim this to be a low-carbon journey.

However, perhaps we can ask questions about the way that we do make our choices in terms of the sustainability of our actions. What is the impact of catching cheap flights around the planet? What is the environmental cost of our culture of quick and easy options, when perhaps there are other ways of going about things? A journey may take longer but actually the depth that the experience brings allows for new understandings and in fact a greater quality of life and planetary health. How can we live simply and share what we have rather than stubbornly protect what we perceive as our own? How is the health of our oceans? What is the environmental impact of shipping and travel by Sea? Well I was astounded to discover that according to the guys who run Tres Hombres, an engineless old-school sailing ship trading rum from the Caribbean, that the 16 biggest ships trading across the oceans produce the same emissions as all of the cars in the world …. That is enormous!!! What is the connection between our oceans and the planetary weather systems? How connected are we really?

Well we’ve so-far sailed as far as Spain in our little wooden boat and I can tell you that it is just the same waters that lap their shores as ours, the same ocean where the dolphins play amongst the phosphorescence at our bows. The currents flow connecting all of us across the planet and it doesn’t take the wildest of imaginations to realize that somehow we too are all connected and our actions have consequences for us all.

We would love to hear what you make of all this so do get in touch, or leave a comment. For people who would like to come along and join us for part of this journey and seem to have no option but to catch a plane to be with us we would encourage you to get in touch with Keith at Movingsounds (keith@movingsounds.org) and find out about how you can support a simple local carbon off-setting scheme through the production of Bio-chard in Sussex that locks carbon back into the soil. Every little helps after all.

So what do you reckon? Can we make this a part of a low carbon dream?