Do you know the biggest CO2 emitter when traveling?

Do you know the biggest CO2 emitter when traveling?


Do foreign tourists know what activity contributes the most to CO2 emissions while traveling in Japan? It's air travel. While it's not surprising that airplanes emit a lot of CO2, it often goes unnoticed that luggage (20kg) can contribute to emissions four times higher than an entire week's stay in Japan.

For example, a round trip from Narita Airport to New York, Singapore, and Taipei produces CO2 emissions of 942kg, 594kg, and 147kg for a passenger. The average for these three cities is 612kg. In contrast, the CO2 emissions for luggage (20kg) for these cities are 244kg for New York, 114kg for Singapore, and 55kg for Taipei, making up 18-26% of the total emissions from passengers (data sourced from ICAO's "CARBON EMISSIONS CALCULATOR"). The average for these cities' luggage emissions is 138kg.


CO2 emissions

Source: ICAO's "CARBON EMISSIONS CALCULATOR," National Institute for Environmental Studies, Japan


On the other hand, the CO2 emissions for a 7-day stay in Japan are only 34kg. This figure is calculated based on the average household CO2 emissions of 4.9kg per day by the National Institute for Environmental Studies, Japan. The average luggage emission of 138kg for the three cities is four times the 7-day stay emission of 34kg.

The breakdown of the 4.9kg includes:
1.6 kg for household electricity and other power.
1.2 kg for personal cars.
0.8 kg for heating.
0.7 kg for hot water supply.


Household CO2 emissions per capita, per day (FY2021)

Source: National Institute for Environmental Studies, Japan


CO2 emissions are minimal for train travel within Japan. For example, a train round trip from Tokyo Station to Sapporo Station in Hokkaido (2,342km) emits only 40kg. However, the same distance by car would result in 304kg of emissions (Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism).

From this data, it's clear that reducing CO2 emissions from air travel has a far more significant impact than efforts made during a stay in Japan. While air travel is necessary for visiting Japan, reducing luggage emissions by renting essentials in Japan can make a significant difference. Why not travel light on your next trip to Japan and drastically reduce CO2 emissions?



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