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The key to a sustainable paragliding

Courtesy of the author (Vincent Chanderot), I warmly thank, I publish here a reflection on the environmental impact of our activity on climate.

Climatic changes, Beach erosion, continents waste, extinctions of species, concreting excessive, pollution ... irreversible ecological crisis on all fronts. After the meeting the last chance for the climate to Paris, rhetoric coexist more than ever with the inaction. FFVL also signed charters and realized its Bilan Carbone to reduce its CO2 and trying to invent the world that goes with. Five years after, no evolution we still palpable and no channels of free flight will be organized more clean. Here again, it seems that it is primarily the pilot that makes all the difference.

Few paragliders claim to favorable climatic upheavals, there he has yet to think about the carbon footprint of a beautiful flying day before embarking on the road? The December COP21 2015, we will have retained the challenges of international agreements and national policies. It is welcomed in seeing such a decision, such an initiative in the newspaper, but we, What do we do ? We forget that all this will not happen without our participation and that Earth expects each take up his share of the effort to limit the upheaval experienced by children. Every human action generates its share of greenhouse gas, it seems capital to try to glean all you can, including recreation.

Some ideas about life and theft.

Paragliding is practiced in nature, it does not actually provided a green event. It operates a preserved environment but generates some impact on him by the need to move around and evolve there with complicated equipment. Free flight contributes to further climate change whose balance losses / profits do not generally appear in his favor. We have seen how our leisure may be affected, because warmer is not best, it is disproportionate to anything that fills the rest of our lives : crop yields, access to water, peach, diseases, biodiversity, landscapes ... The Terrans who will pay the price are known to us, they are already born, this makes it unique moment. For when men have always tightened their belts in order to offer the best to their heirs, our generation, deaf to the warning cries, has not given up stuff yourself and enjoy unfettered, knowing how existence condemning his children. What she will be with the disappearance of all coral reefs, for almost half of the species, trees and flowers ? With droughts and more intense rain or fish and beaches in agony ?

France has committed to a fourfold emissions of greenhouse gas before 2050. To limit runaway climate, we only everyone of a credit 1,7 ton equivalent CO2 per year. This means that we can, with current technology EITHER browse 10 000 km by car, EITHER heat an apartment with gas during winter, OR do an A / R in New York ... and NOTHING MORE for an entire year! The challenge is immense, because relying on a huge technological leap is utopian. Little has changed in the years that scientists are hanged on the alarm. The lifestyle in Western junior George Bush decreed that "not negotiable" seems frozen and it is unrealistic to rely on policies that seem to have abandoned the defense of the general interest, obsessed with growth and the hands of lobbies. As he would soon acquire new automation in the way we consume and move, that everything is reflected ...

The oil factor

We thought it would be difficult course encouraged by the oil shortage looming softly, or the price of black gold are lower as a result of a gross overproduction and a claim not off again since the recession. In these years of cheap oil, greater the temptation to give to evolve to enjoy a little : the US gasoline consumption rose 3% in 2015 and the mileage of 3,5%. It is also a rebound observed in energy efficiency gains. Switching to efficient cars can encourage people to drive more, Constant budget. History has shown that it had little to the current soaring again, it will be urgent to use less energy for environmental reasons but also financial. Without relying on shale or uranium, the last of mine will be empty before the last oil well, c’est tout l’enjeu du Bilan Carbone de la filière parapente : emit less greenhouse gases to limit climate change and ensure a practical yet accessible to all when oil will be worth gold, through early anticipation.

A question that does not arise

The paragliding world is very concerned about the weather but few of climate change. Not that he did not fear, but because he is not prepared more than another to question his pleasure. We also have our scapegoats : others, the factories, the Chinese, paramotoristes them… What is my impact in comparison with that of a prince oil ? Why would I effort while the other does not ? The question is however not yet know who pollutes more, but how each can pollute less. It is found in all our activities, a fortiori those who will be the first leisure challenged, ways to be more sober to increase economies of scale. Bilan Carbone we have done for the school from the Basque coast paramotor 64 and paragliding partner Bidasoa Flight, demonstrates that the most polluting is not always who you think. A paraglider before the plain roll 100 km to a site and steal emits about 2 hours 45 kg CO2 eq without even counting the shuttle or any Recycling. A paramotor issue for even spent time in flight 30 kg eq CO2, fuel and depreciation of equipment included (motor car +) by going on a field by definition closer, to 25 kilometers.

Carbon footprint

Bilan Carbone inventories all sources of emissions of all greenhouse gas emissions for an activity. It analyzes toolmaking, their usage, end of life, transportation, capital and all resources committed to its existence. The study conducted on users of the base paramotor 64/ Bidasoa Flight shows that travel is the main source of pollution for the two practices, since even in motor theft, the car-related emissions exceed those generated by an hour flight as soon as the ground is distant from over fifteen kilometers. Manufacturing a paragliding involves all raw materials from petrochemical and seeking energy-intensive processes. The route of a paragliding molecule is symptomatic of a global model that is unsustainable, some French manufacturers disclaim gradually. Thread, often made in Asia or the USA, comes the weaver (for example Porcher in France, providing 70% World paragliding market) where it will be shipped to the sailmakers, mostly located in Asia (China, Sri Lanka, Vietnam). The wings are then repatriated to Europe to the parent companies, where they are finally sent to dealers from around the world. The manufacture of the yarn Polyamide 6.6 (polymer of hexamethylenediamine adipate, or nylon 66) emits about 8kg eqCO2 per kilo coil. Companies such as Porcher then perform weaving, heatsetting then coating a thin layer of polyurethane resin, des procédés très techniques. Attempts to use aqueous coatings to emit fewer volatile organic compounds have been abandoned, because of their lack of competitiveness with coatings solvating, plus resistantes. Between the manufacturing spi, the lines and risers, assembly, marketing and transportation, it is estimated that a paraglider 6 kg generates a little less 100 kg eq CO2 between the oil wells and its first inflation. If the glider is shipped from Asia by air, it will emit almost twice the greenhouse gases and represent 10% our budget CO2 sustainable annual. Reduced to its life with standard use, a paraglider manufactured in Europe is therefore transmitter 250 eq to 350g CO2 per hour of use. CO2 manufacturing are quickly overtaken by those from the use (your veil = 500 km single drive) Nevertheless, the possibilities of constructing cleaner not to neglect, because the reproduction of these savings is substantial quantities within an industry that produces 25 to 30 000 wings annually. No natural tissue is not capable today to replace the polyamide, but the nylon thread is now in recycled form, it is found in some clothes. It generates less pollution than the organic nylon, reduced dependence on oil and the volume of waste, including incineration emits harmful compounds. The question of employment for spinnakers was asked in the boating industry in North Sails, but his performances were deemed inadequate even for this use. Porcher also highlights the additional cost issues, that users are not yet ready to assume.

The light sails can weigh heavy

Alternatives to reduce the carbon footprint of paragliding manufacturers, if they are not yet ripe in the nature of materials, can be dug in their amount, quality and disappearance. The end of life of the wings is a question that remains unanswered for over ten years. No one knows how to value the Reformed wings, if not in the ventilator or luggage fantasy. The composite fabric structure complicates any recycling of molecules and materials ends in fine its existence buried or cremated (un paragliding relargue 7 kg eqCO2).

Improved tissue and designs now offers better performance identical surface, allowing a relative economy of tissues by decreasing surfaces. With the mini-sails today, the gain does not happen only in the margin. However, if some do not fly more than mini, it is clear that this trend contributes to possess an additional sailing by creating a new need, so additional emissions. Le designer de Niviuk Olivier Nef concedes "It is true that the proposed growing niche products, corresponding to a very precise practice and in addition in addition to traditional products ". As for the idea of ​​one day emerge the single sail small, "The decrease in surface area results in an increase in the overall speed, which does not reflect the practices and desires of all ". The monosurface wings might suggest big bucks materials, even if, as Olivier Nef highlights, there is less tissue but more suspentage. If their weight is comparable to the lightest mountain sails, they do not suffer from a so fragile. For a carbon assessment also takes into account the product's useful life : doubling its lifespan allows to halve the Carbon Footprint of your business parapentesque. Also, a sail three times lighter, will nevertheless have a higher carbon assessment whether it should be replaced three times faster (except that it encourages climb to Deco on foot rather than by car). The first thing to do is take care of his equipment so he can fly long. A wing folded while it is still damp degrades accelerated, especially if it is stored in a hot room. It must also avoid lock up the insects and too compress for storage. According to Porcher, their very heavy fabrics coated guaranteed 300 h minimum and we can easily consider the dual use, thanks to water-repellent coatings. Change its hardware often does not make sense in a recreational practice, unless still get to advance, to the extent that the designs do not change dramatically every year. The fabric of the wing of an average user (50 h per year) can, by Daniel Constantini spokesman Porcher, maintain satisfactory porosity during 15 years. He added that win to monitor the homogeneity of aging rather than focusing on the porosity.

How to reduce the impact of climate paraglider?

We all know that drivers monomaniac, even on rainy days, the coup attempt "in case", without counting the kilometers or CO emissions2 sometimes for not much. The most obvious of écoparapentistes gestures are flying close to home, carpooling, getting rather walk and focus on the good days rather than increasing the rotten sessions. Trips "to see if it flies" and remain ultimately grounded were limited to a maximum flight Bidasoa and Paramoteur64 through further interpretation of local weather phenomena, forecasts and installing an onsite pioupiou. The students are now trained in reading emagrams and upper wind patterns, so with the help of numerous tags and webcams available on the net, they can promote the cleanest and cheapest energy : that which is not used. Their simulator "SMAAP", unique in the world, lets you practice inflating, posed to the closures and the heart of the town of Irun, this may be an interesting model for cities. The often very limited number of parking spaces in the vicinity of the sites in general and that of the school in particular helps to encourage carpooling. Each seat occupied withdraws car traffic, Also they are invited students, via the school's website forum to share their vehicles. Paragliders in the region use the phone app whattsapp, to share information on flight conditions and proposals carpool beyond the circle of friends. The Spanish side, it is said that the best compromise time of ascent / vehicle recovery amount is obtained by walking or the guarantor rather low vehicle, given the long detours that make the roads.

Aitor Herran monitor in San Sebastian surprisingly teaches paragliding dual tandem on the huge soaring of Kukuarri, which saves him the incessant back and forth shuttle. The Paramotor school 64 also optimized its environment by moving to a more close to its customers field and the sumptuous Basque cornice, offering immediately a dynamic significantly reducing air and noise pollution. students equipped with the course of the formation of a alti / vario can visualize the gas dose just needed to hold level flight without excessively breaking the ears of residents. Olivier Beristain also invested, following its Carbon balance, in a relatively quiet electric motor to meet neighbors and town halls. Because to be able to fly close to home, it is still necessary to prevent the closure of sites and generate enthusiasm for opening new. We still see a lot of drivers whose contempt generates tensions that lead to prohibitions, depriving all other nearby sites ...

PTV the paraglider directly affecting his ability to practice walking & flight, the fabric surface necessary and the consumption of paramotorist, the companions of many overweight drivers plébiscitent the initiative of both schools to reduce cheese, sausage and everyone during meals on the ground. With a triple health benefit, economic and environmental, knowing that there 25 kg CO2 a prime rib and that agriculture generates 25% Greenhouse gases.

The material is a substation of the Carbon Footprint paramotor 64, however it is not to be overlooked, especially because the operation of a school often influences the ratio of its future pilots to their equipment. In addition to the careful maintenance, with associated students, qui permet de prolonger la vie du matériel de dizaines d’heures, School offers licensed pilots the ability to fly its aircraft at competitive rates or share paramotor timeshare. The pooling of paragliders and machinery is economic, it avoids over-exploit resources and run factories unnecessarily.

The vehicle renewal issue is recurring for the school and for all drivers. Faced with the temptation to acquire a brand new pickup truck cleaner, we must not forget that its construction emits around 9,5 tonnes eq CO2 in the air. It is from 100 000 km, if it managed to win the 100km 3L, it actually emit less CO2, when earnings on consumption will offset the emissions from manufacturing. The inventors of the scrappage scheme did well hidden, but sometimes it is wiser for the climate to extend the life of his old vehicle (provided he complies with anti-pollution standards) and practicing eco-driving : accelerate smoothly and drive more slowly especially in the mountains. highway, it only loses 4 minutes 100 km wheelchair to 120 km / h but it saves 1L. Start gently especially cold, inflate tires, avoid the galleries and the air conditioning reduces its consumption up 20% ! Instead of 4×4, which are not justified on 90% sites, one could dream of clean cars, which does not exist. According toADEME, Emissions from the production of electric vehicle batteries are such that their climate relevance appear clearly beyond 50 to 80 000 km in France and in Germany ever. Because fossils provide it 53% the energy mix. But to power the French car park fully converted into electrical, should build the capacity of 18 Additional EPR plants !

Even among older paragliders, include pollution 2.0, that proves anything but virtual. Since the flowering of the helmet cameras, the web is full of videos and pictures, often taken on the same sites. If it can be hard to resist sharing memories of a great day with friends, l’ADEME draws attention to the greenhouse gas emissions related to internet. En effet, the uploaded images on such networks instagram, facebook, youtube or google+ are stored, like email, on servers whose environmental impact is huge. These large files consume disk space and require in fine the extraction of rare earths, many natural resources and energy. All these data centers are highly intensive electricity (often produced coal) to operate and be cooled by air conditioners whose fluorigenic fluids may have power heats up 24 000 times higher than CO2 (for SF6). With 7 grams eqCO2 for research google or 20 g simply email you do not think to erase but remain "kept" for years, it is difficult to understand that all these innocuous gestures, because replicated billions of times each day, excess CO emissions2 World Air Transport. If people do share some pictures, the most beautiful, they would impact more than the spirits and less climate. A final proposal : read, reread this article and run to cushion the 300 kg eqCO2 it will cost our planet.

Vincent Chanderot is environmental consultant, Expert Carbon Footprint


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