Covid has persuaded more Britons to become eco-travellers than Greta

Revealed: The pandemic has persuaded TWICE as many Britons to become eco-travellers than Greta Thunberg (and Sir David Attenborough joining social media has helped, too)

  • In a poll, more than a quarter said Covid had motivated them to eco-travel
  • One in five (20 per cent) are reconsidering air travel for future trips 
  • A third (33 per cent) are looking to increase their use of trains 
  • Shock at seeing people stockpiling has also made people more eco-aware

The coronavirus pandemic has had a bigger impact than Greta Thunberg on Britons’ eco-conscience, according to a survey.

And Sir David Attenborough’s foray into Instagram has made them more environmentally friendly, too.

Of those polled, more than a quarter (27 per cent) said the pandemic and its side effects had motivated them to adopt more environmentally friendly travel behaviours – more than double the amount influenced by environmental activist Greta Thunberg (12 per cent).

Twelve per cent of those quizzed in a poll said Greta Thunberg (pictured) motivated them to be more environmentally conscious

In the survey, by YouGov for rail operator LNER, nearly a quarter of the 2,008 participants (24 per cent) said they intend to go on more staycations than trips abroad – and 22 per cent will change how they get around the UK and abroad, post-coronavirus.

Younger generations are leading the way as half (48 per cent) of millennials (25-34) said they would spend time on home soil than overseas, and nearly a quarter (23 per cent) of those aged 18-24 admitted they are rethinking their future use of flying to get away, both in the UK and abroad – more than any other generation.

One in five (20 per cent) are reconsidering air travel for future trips, whilst a third (33 per cent) are looking to increase their use of trains, with those aged 18-24 selecting rail (46 per cent) as their favourite method of transport for holidays within the UK and abroad.

Over half (57 per cent) of Britons took one to five trips abroad every year prior to Covid, but this drops to only 40 per cent when thinking about how many they’ll take in 2021 and beyond.

With the nation turning green, LNER is encouraging the use of more sustainable methods of transport for future travel plans

Top ten things that have encouraged Britons to make ‘more environmentally conscious’ choices since lockdown

 Source:  YouGov poll for LNER

In fact, six in 10 UK adults (58 per cent) are now making an effort to live more sustainably generally, compared to just 20 per cent who didn’t stop and think about their lifestyle and the effect it had on the environment prior to lockdown.

When it comes to the reasons why people are making these changes, a quarter (28 per cent) said stockpiling made them more environmentally friendly, admitting it made them think about how much they consume generally.

Twelve per cent said Sir David Attenborough joining social media had an impact and seven per cent said watching more sustainable lifestyles in documentaries like Zac Efron’s ‘Down To Earth’ influenced them.

Britons also pointed to noticing a reduction in air and noise pollution (40 per cent), spending more time outside, in their garden or local parks (40 per cent), and being able to hear birdsong and take more notice of nature (38 per cent) as the biggest reasons for becoming more environmentally conscious since lockdown.

UK adults are keen to keep these habits going too – over four in 10 (43 per cent) revealed they would consider recycling more in the future, with shopping at local stores (28 per cent), using less water (26 per cent) and growing their own veg (23 per cent) topping the nation’s eco-resolutions for the future.

With the nation turning green, LNER is encouraging the use of more sustainable methods of transport for future travel plans.

It pointed out that its new fleet of electric ‘bi-mode’ Azuma trains produces less than a third of the carbon of other modes of transport.

LNER Managing Director, David Horne, said: ‘Despite how hard the past few months have been, it is positive to see how as a nation we’re collectively striving towards a greener future.

‘Lockdown made many people stop and think about the world we live in, and how we can protect our planet – it’s so encouraging to see younger generations leading the way here, swapping overseas jaunts for staycations in the wake of Covid.

‘When it comes to reaching a UK holiday destination, it’s no secret that trains are one of the most sustainable ways to travel, producing less than a third of the carbon of other modes of transport and proving just as fast, door-to-door.’  

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