A personal story about sustainability and changing habits.

On my way to my (awesome) client in Glasgow. By train this time, and not by airplane!

Sustainability is all about changing habits. And we all know that’s never easy. But I need to practice what I preach. So I did some behavior engineering on myself 😉.

►I tried to look at things as objectively as I could, and see if I was able to move away from easy statements like “yeah, but going by plane is much faster”:


  • 30min Uber or 2xMetro/Train to the Airport ➡️ 6kg of CO2 (return trip)
  • 2h before departure at the airport: check-in, security check, customs, waiting at the gate
  • 1,5h flight Brussels to Edinburgh (little to no space to work comfortably, no wifi, no electricity) ➡️ 460kg of CO2 (return trip)
  • 15-20min wait for luggage
  • 15-20min wait for the bus to Glasgow
  • 1h15min bus drive to Glasgow (again very little space to work comfortably, no electricity) ➡️ 14kg of CO2 (return trip)

Total: approx. 6 hours, of which almost 4-4,5h of “non-optimal” time (waiting, cueing, sitting like a sardine in a sardine can on the plane or bus, etc.). And more than 480kg of CO2.


  • 20min metro to Brussels Midi Station
  • 1h before departure at the station: customs and waiting on the platform
  • 2h Eurostar train to London (ample space + electricity + wifi) ➡️ 9kg of CO2 (return trip)
  • Walk to Euston Station and 1h waiting at the platform
  • 4h40min train to Glasgow Central Station (ample space + electricity + wifi) ➡️ 47kg of CO2 (return trip)

Total: approx. 9 hours, of which 2-2,5h of “non-optimal” time, and a much more relaxed way of traveling. And only 56kg of CO2.

►So the “what’s in it for me” was clear: I travel on my personal time, so a few hours longer traveling doesn’t make that much of a difference. But there’s much more “optimal time” I can spend on the train, doing some admin, reflecting, working on personal projects, writing, etc. And the price was comparable. This gave me the nudge to try it out 💪.

►It also helps working for a client who feels really strong about sustainability, which adds another nudging factor to the mix 🌱.

►In conclusion: me happy, the environment happier, and in line with my client’s priorities. Happy days! 🌈

It’s not always going to be possible to take this long journey, but whenever I can, I will (commitment, check✅)! Every bit counts. And I’m really enjoying the relaxness of traveling by train 😉.

►And in terms of changing a habit: “force” yourself to look at things differently and objectively, work out the “what’s in it for you”, see what “nudges” you have that can push you in the right direction, commit to the cause, share the journey (as I’m doing now 😉), and celebrate the positives that come from making the change. Bam!

Have a few habits you’d like to change in your team or for yourself? Let me know and let’s engineer them together!