Hubbub targets stag and hen dos to lower UK flying climate impacts

Environmental charity Hubbub has launched a new campaign to raise awareness of the impacts of flying, after research commissioned by the group found that almost half of all flights taken by men aged 20-45 and a third of flights from women in the same age group were for stag and hen dos.

Hubbub targets stag and hen dos to lower UK flying climate impacts

Flights could account for around 25% of the UK’s emissions by 2050

With more Brits travelling abroad than any other nationality, Hubbub commissioned a survey of 2,000 20-45-year-olds across the UK to examine existing attitudes towards overseas stag and hen dos.

On average, men in the UK went on four stag dos last year, spending more than £420 on each trip, compared to £260 per person for those who stayed in the UK for their trips. As a result, the survey found that 58% feel that hen and stag dos abroad are too long, expensive or involve too much travel. Over half, (60%) stated preference for a UK-based hen or stag, due to cost savings.

In response, Hubbub has today (19 February) launched the Why Wing It campaign, aimed at using the pre-existing attitudes towards travelling for stag dos in an attempt to reduce the climate impacts of flying.

Hubbub’s creative partner Jess Wiles said: “When we asked people about their ideal hen or stag do they told us it would involve a short journey, one or two nights away, a good choice of nightlife and access to adventure activities and spas. There is a fantastic range of locations and venues here in the UK that tick the boxes for what people want and they are generally easier and cheaper to get to.

“Our research shows that 43% of young people currently don’t consider the environmental impact of their holidays but we’re optimistic that this will change in 2020 as our flying habits become more of a focus. Instead of flying by default, we’re keen to inspire people to consider alternatives such as travelling by train which is often less hassle and can be a fun way to travel with friends.”

Taking flight

Flights could account for around 25% of the UK’s emissions by 2050 on current trajectories, yet almost half of people in the UK don’t fly and 95% of people globally have never flown.

Research compiled by carbon offset management firm Carbon Credit Capital found that a group of 10 travelling from London to Barcelona for a hen or stag do could reduce emissions by 98% by choosing Brighton as the destination instead. This is the equivalent of one person in the group going vegan for 2.2 years or stopping driving a car for 1.4 years.

Swapping Las Vegas for Manchester also generates similar results and is the equivalent of going vegan for 1.5 years. Swapping Dubai for Edinburgh is the equivalent of giving up driving for 7 months, the analysis found.

The aviation industry accounts for around 2% of global emissions, and a number of airlines have announced carbon-neutrality targets. Delta is the latest company in the sector to set a carbon-neutral target. However, companies within the sector have been criticised for an over-reliance on offsets in place of focused carbon reduction targets.

British Airways has begun offsetting all emissions generated through domestic flights within the UK, at no additional cost to passengers, to build on parent company International Airlines Group’s (IAG) 2050 net-zero ambition.

The likes of Qantas and easyJet announced large-scale offsetting schemes last year amid a backdrop of climate strikes, whereby key figures in the environmental movement such as Greta Thunberg and Sir David Attenborough have promoted the “flight-shaming” conversation.

Hubbub’s previous awareness programmes include the climate impact of fashion purchases and behaviour change initiatives to improve on-the-go recycling, with a specific focus on plastics and coffee cups.

Matt Mace

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