Erasmus Green Travel – Sustainable Way of Erasmus+

10+ best tips for Erasmus+ green travel
Erasmus green travel

Erasmus Green Travel – Sustainable Way of Erasmus+

Erasmus Green Travel – Sustainable Way of Erasmus+ 1900 1266 Gedas Kondrackis

Erasmus+ is great, however, there is a big caveat. Is going to Erasmus+ mobilities sustainable? And what is Erasmus green travel?

This blog post aims to answer these questions. Also, we’ll provide you with simple tips on how to travel more responsibly. Read time: 6 min.

Alternatively, you can visit our full guide on more sustainable travel.

What is Erasmus green travel?

To put it simply, Erasmus+ green travel is choosing the most sustainable way of transport to & from your destination. Even though, it might cost more. That’s why there is now an extra budget for it (see the table below); as well as 4 extra travel days. Moreover, your travel creates a CO2 footprint, which can now be offset by Erasmus green travel allowance. Not sure what is CO2 offsetting? Then read on.

Top-up for Erasmus+ green travel depends on the distance band:

Travel distance Green travel 🌿 Non-Green travel
10 – 99 km 56 EUR 28 EUR
100 – 499 km 285 EUR 211 EUR
500 – 1999 km 417 EUR 309 EUR
2000 – 2999 km 535 EUR 395 EUR
3000 – 3999 km 785 EUR 580 EUR
4000 – 7999 km 1188 EUR = 1188 EUR
8000 km or more 1735 EUR = 1735 EUR
= means no change; means extra grant.

So how to travel to Erasmus+ mobilities more sustainably? We have gathered top tips based on: 1) our own experience; 2) tips from the participants of our projects; and 3) insights from other NGOs & projects. Read on below.

11 best tips for Erasmus green travel

11. Travel on a train or bus 🚄

Travelling on a train is about 5 times greener than flying (when it comes to CO2 emission). That’s significant!

erasmus green travel comparison

Trains emit the least CO2, followed by electrical cars, ferries (0.06 kg/km) & coaches (buses).

Also, one can avoid annoying baggage checks and other airport procedures. Moreover, there is more leg space, which is ever-shrinking on the planes. The European rail network is extensive, so why not give it a try? Perhaps you’ll even find your soulmate on such a trip too (it’s romantic in the train cabin).

Good to know: when choosing greener means of transport you can get up to 4 extra travelling days (to compensate for it being slower than planes).

10. Prioritise direct flights 🛫

Note: choose flights only if there are no viable train/ferry connections. E.g. avoid domestic flights, which can be easily substituted by other (more sustainable) means of transport.

Most of the carbon footprint is created while taking off and landing; hence, the fewer flights there are, the less CO2 is “produced”. Also, direct flights (as a rule) cover fewer kilometres overall, which, naturally, translates into a smaller carbon footprint. The only minus: direct flights can be more expensive (yet, there is an extra budget for Erasmus green travel).

erasmus green travel

Flying directly converts to a smaller overall CO2 footprint.

9. Reusable water bottle 💧

Take your reusable water bottle everywhere during your Erasmus adventures. Not only does it cut down on plastic waste, but it also ensures you stay hydrated in an eco-friendly manner. Wherever your mobility is, having your water bottle by your side is a simple step towards sustainable travel. Encourage fellow Erasmus students to adopt this green travel habit too!

🇪🇺 Tip from “TC ACTIVATE THE GLOBAL CHANGE” supported by the Erasmus+ Program through the Portuguese National Agency.
8. Less time in the shower 🚿

Spend less time in the shower, as every minute counts towards conserving water and energy. Shortening your shower by even a few minutes can save dozens of litres of water, reducing your footprint. This practice aligns perfectly with the principles of both sustainable tourism & Erasmus+ mobilities abroad.

🇪🇺 Tip from “TC ACTIVATE THE GLOBAL CHANGE” supported by the Erasmus+ Program through the Portuguese National Agency.
7. Don’t buy coffee to go ☕

Instead of buying coffee to go, sit down and relax at a local cafe. It’s a step towards greener and more memorable travel. Why? Well, this not only reduces the use of disposable cups but also enriches your Erasmus+ experience by allowing you to soak in the local ambiance. In other words, embrace the culture of the host country on your Erasmus journey by enjoying coffee the traditional way.

🇪🇺 Tip from “TC ACTIVATE THE GLOBAL CHANGE” supported by the Erasmus+ Program through the Portuguese National Agency.
6. Share tips with others 💬

You know a lot of green travel tips already, don’t keep it to yourself. Even if you think they’re obvious, they might not be to someone else. Sharing knowledge on sustainable travel practices can inspire others to make more environmentally friendly choices. As an Erasmus student (or youngster, or youth worker), you have a unique platform to promote green travel among an international crowd. Let us know your tip.

🇪🇺 Tip from “TC ACTIVATE THE GLOBAL CHANGE” supported by the Erasmus+ Program through the Portuguese National Agency.
5. Remove all the electrical devices from the network when leaving home 🔌

Ever heard of vampire power or vampire energy? That’s a term for the fact that devices (that are turned off but plugged in) still use electricity. Thus, when leaving for a longer period of time, remove your devices/appliances from the network. Don’t be a vampire – save energy 🧛

4. Do not print your boarding pass, invoices, other documents 📱

Nowadays in 99% of situations, digital documents are enough. The Erasmus+ receiving organisation should be happy with receiving such documents as well (as they are harder to lose).

digital boarding pass

Digital travel documents allow saving paper.

3. Take less baggage – travel light 🧳

Every extra kg on the plane translates into extra CO2 “created” per kilometre of travel. To be more exact, on a 3000 km flight 1 extra kg of luggage will result in 1 extra kg of CO2 footprint.

How to pack lightly:

2. Clean the local beach or park 🏖️

While it doesn’t reduce carbon footprint directly, cleaning the local beach or a park is a great activity. Both for the local environment and for team-building. Hence, don’t be shy and encourage fellow Erasmus+ participants to join in. In other words, don’t just take, start giving back as well.

During your free time: you can sail, snorkel, scuba dive, hike, paddleboat, paddleboard, kayak, bike, swim, and bird-watch, these are just a few of the environmentally friendly activities available. Visit a craft or food market, and remember to carry a reusable shopping bag. Take a tour led by a local guide.

clean beach

Cleaning the local beach is always a good idea.

1. Offset the created carbon footprint 🌳

What is CO2 offsetting? In short, it is donating to a project that reduces our overall CO2 footprint by hundreds of thousands of kilograms. For example, by changing light bulbs or stoves for more efficient ones in the developing nations.

How to use it:

  1. You count how much CO2 you’ve created on your Erasmus+ mobility
  2. Then you visit a CO2 offsetting platform online and type in the number of CO2 tonnes you wish to offset
  3. Donate the appropriate amount to a selected green project

However, it is not an answer to climate change. A lot needs to change for the planet to stop and reverse global warming. Not least in the way we act as individuals and societies. Carbon offsets are an imperfect substitute, a small step towards the bigger goal. For that reason, you should aim to have your CO2 footprint as small as possible and offset only what you could not reduce.

žalias vėjo jėgainių projektas

It’s possible to offset your created CO2 by supporting green projects worldwide.

Poll: is/was this useful for you?

Can Erasmus+ travel be more sustainable?

Yes, of course! And, the best part: it’s not difficult to travel green. Simply use the tips above and be responsible for the local environment and culture. To be sure, there are more ways to be sustainable on Erasmus+ mobilities. Have any good tips (not mentioned here)? Let us know.

Ethical travel guide

In your quest to travel more consciously, don’t miss our comprehensive “Ethical Travel Guide: Navigating War, Post-Conflict, and Poverty-Stricken Zones.” This guide explores key facets of ethical travel, including respectful photography, avoiding ‘poverty tourism’, protecting children in these challenging zones, and effectively handling requests for aid. This guide serves as an invaluable tool for anyone visiting these regions or interested in understanding more about ethical travel practices. You can read the insightful post here.

Can Erasmus+ events be sustainable?

Check out the answer in our another post: Events CO2 footprint: 3 steps to reduce it; or read a full guide here: Sustainable Events 101: How to plan & organise them in 4 steps🌍 (

Interested in organising green Erasmus+ mobilities?

Find our free resources for project writing & implementation here.

Gedas Kondrackis

A for-purpose entrepreneur bent on bringing 21st century tools and techniques to the NGO world.

All stories by : Gedas Kondrackis

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