Roland Dürre
Thursday June 23rd, 2011

An Afterthought: UTB Finnland – The Ecological Footprint

Our house boat trip through Finland was wonderful. I really enjoyed it immensely. However, I also have a bad conscience.

We went the way out and back home by plane (Munich – Helsinki with Finnair, Helsinki  Savonlinna with Finncom Air). Three of the four planes were completely full, one was rather empty.

The alternative I had checked during the planning stage – going by train – would have been possible, but a lot more expensive and time-consuming. And I really did not feel like going by a combination of car and ferry.

Well, it was my second air trip this year. That is considerably more than the two years before. I acted totally against my good intentions. And then there is also the following scenario:

Our house boat used up a little less than 300 litres of diesel fuel (to be precise, it ws 297 litres). That means 3/4 of the entire fuel container of 400 litres was consumed. The entire trip was seven days, we drove an average of seven hours each day.

Compared with your average sporting boat, that sounds quite harmless. Maybe that is because we always went rather slowly: around 2,000 rotations per hour, which equals 5 knots.

If, however, I bear in mind that 300 litres of diesel fuel is almost a third of a ton and that a car might have driven 5,000 kilometers with it, then this number gives me pause. Consequently, the flight and house boat increased my ecological footprint considerably.

Everything else about our house boat is really recommendable. As opposed to boats we had previously rented, this one also had a excrement disposal unit We pumped the contents into a plastic container every other day and thus took care to dispose of it properly. It smelled pretty bad, though.

Now I would really like to go through Finland by bike. My intended starting point would be rather far north, which means that the only way to get there would be by plane. If I were then to ride as far as Minsk or Warsaw, going home by train is an option.

I will start studying the routes and time tables …

RMD
(Translated by EG)

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