Nearly a decade ago, I embarked on my first motorcycle tour. And as is customary for almost all two-wheeled travellers in the UK, my decided destination was the Alps.
My sole purpose for going was the roads. So I jumped on my old CBR600 and headed for Switzerland.
The roads lived up to their reputation, and I was blown away by just how much of a good time you could have on such a trip.
But what I wasn’t expecting was to be moved, emotionally, by the scenery.
I remember finding myself in a remote area, looking down on a canopy of trees below me as the sun rose.
It was cold. No cars. No people. Not even any wind. All I could hear was the chirping of the birds as I looked into the vastness of the Alps.
And that’s when it hit me.
I realised how small I was in the hugeness of this landscape. Turning on the spot, the world just swallowed me up. I was nothing. No-one.
When Realisation Hits
For maybe the first time in my self-assured life, I was stripped of my ego. And, strangely, that didn’t bother me in the way I thought it might.
As the notion filled my mind, I felt humility rather than belittlement. I surrendered to it. Liked it, even.
Clearing the horizon, the sun blasted through the morning haze and illuminated the world in front of me. And for once, there were no words.
All I could do was feel intensely. In silence. Alone. With nothing but the invisible birds that chirped around me.
And my eyes begin to well. To this day, I can’t explain why. I don’t know if it was a realisation or simply the beauty of what was in front of me.
But it moved me in a way I never knew possible.
From that moment, my life changed. It became less about work and more about enjoying the world. With a motorcycle under my ass and a camera in my bag, I have since been lucky to see some of the most amazing sights on the planet.
And it will continue, too, with more big trips coming up.
Offsetting The Carbon Footprint Of My Motorcycle Travels
Like most people, I’m not exactly an eco-warrior. Nor am I a tree hugger (although I will admit to feeling compelled to touch them when I walk past! Does that make me weird?)
But I try to do my bit in the simple ways I know how.
I love nature. I love wildlife. And since that morning in the Alps described above, I’ve spent my life chasing it, seeing it, and feeling it.
Mostly, that means I’m crossing countries on my bike. Sometimes, it means I’m flying above them on a plane.
But either way, it means I’m stamping my heavy carbon footprint on the planet as I go. As climate change takes effect, I’m adding to overconsumption, waste, and pollution.
Am I single-handedly ruining the planet? No, of course not. And similarly, I can’t single-handedly fix it, either.
But what I can do is hold myself accountable and take responsibility for offsetting the carbon footprint of my motorcycle travels.
Sustainable Travel International
Upon my recent return from Norway and the Arctic Circle, I was able to calculate the carbon footprint of my trip using the simple calculator on the Sustainable Travel International website.
I selected ‘motorcycle’ as my transport type and inputted the approximate mileage – around 5,000 miles.
From there, the calculator concluded my carbon footprint for that particular trip was 0.91 metric tonnes. And the cost to offset it was $14.56.
I’ll have to admit, I was surprised by this. I was expecting it to be in the hundreds! So when I saw it was such a small amount (just 0.26% of the cost of the trip), I couldn’t think of any reason NOT to offset it.
I donated $30 (there were two of us on the trip) and instantly felt better knowing I’d helped to undo my negative contribution to climate change.
And if you’d like to do the same for any of your trips, you can do so below. (Clicking on the car icon will open more vehicles, including motorcycles.)
Why Sustainable Travel International?
The mission of Sustainable Travel International is simple. And it’s to:
Their aim isn’t to stop you from travelling. It’s to help you continue exploring, just in a way that is beneficial for people and places across the world.
Priorities include safeguarding nature, combatting climate change, empowering local communities, as well as tackling waste and pollution.
Simply put, it’s giving back to the very places you enjoy when you travel.
And if we can all do our bit, the world will be a better place because of it.
So head over to the calculator, and if you fancy it, make it a habit to offset your carbon footprint when you return from your trips.
Want to take it a step further? You can make a yearly donation of $25 and receive free advice on sustainable travel, as well as getting a 10% discount on the offset of your next trip.
Sustainable Travel International
With a mission to
PROTECT AND CONSERVE
our planet’s most vulnerable destinations by transforming tourism’s impact on nature and people
Offsetting The Carbon Footprint Of Your Motorcycle Travels: What’s In It For Motorcycle Tourer?
We’re not affiliated with Sustainable Travel International in any way. We don’t benefit from your contributions, nor do we want to.
We just want to do our bit for climate change and would like to get behind the motorcycle touring community to help it do the same.
For more information on how to do your bit, head over to Sustainable Travel International using the link above.