Travelling environmentally friendly? Helsinki-Riga-Helsinki experiment

I am torn between the never-ending desire to travel and visit amazing places and the knowledge of the size of my carbon footprint. I am in no way a poster child for environmentally friendly living or travelling, but I try to do my bit.

I try to make sure that my everyday life has the smallest carbon footprint possible. When I travel things are a bit different. There is no such thing as an eco-friendly flight. There are places that you can’t get to using alternative transportation. I have never paid the voluntary fee to make my flight carbon-neutral. When I have a chance, I try to see if money and time will allow me to make a better choice.

Riga is close to Helsinki. It takes about an hour to get there by plane. If you fly then your emissions ould roughly be as below:


I googled things a bit and decided to take a ferry to Tallinn and then a Luxbus to Riga.  I wasn’t in a hurry and my route was maybe ten or twenty euros cheaper.

I had a hard time finding CO2 emissions for the ferry ride between Helsinki and Tallinn, but Helsinki–Tallinn (80 km) car ferry trip (speed 24–27 knots) creates an estimated 39 kg of greenhouse gas emissions per trip (Source:

The bus ride from Tallinn to Riga and back would emissions wise look like this:


So… I could have created 0,254 tonnes of CO2, but instead I managed to make the trip by creating just 0,158 tonnes of CO2. I know these calculators only give an estimate and they aren’t necessarily accurate, but they give some rough numbers to work with.

Travelling by bus obviously takes longer, but since Riga was so close it wasn’t that bad.

How do you travel environmentally friendly? Any tips or ideas?


I’ll try to write more about Riga later on this week.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s