In a five-minute video published on the YouTube page of the duke’s non-profit Travalyst today, the Queen’s grandson goes for a jog through California which doubles as the backdrop for “New Zealand woodland”.
He is then ambushed by “rating agent” Rhys Darby, who accuses him of dropping a lolly wrapper four years earlier on a trip to the country with wife Meghan.
The video, which also features Kiwi actors David Fane and Rena Owen, launches the first-ever initiative launched in New Zealand for the British prince’s non-profit Travalyst organisation, founded in 2019, in which holidaymakers, rather than holidays, are rated for how sustainable they are. Kiwis now have access to a rating tool on the Travalyst website as part of a pilot initiative encouraging travellers to consider sustainable options during planning for their next trip.
It is unclear why the Duke chose New Zealand for the project, but Harry is known to love the country and considered moving there with Meghan when they quit as frontline royals, before opting for LA instead.
He told Māori television’s current affairs programme Te Ao with Moana: “The Māori culture inherently understands sustainable practices and taking better care of our life-giving land, which are critical lessons we can all learn and that is why I’m here with you to share a new kaupapa.'”
In the skit, Harry – who is dressed in a grey “Girl Dad” T-shirt and sporting Apple Airpod headphones – is at first given three stars out of five, and then three and a half – as stamps on his arm – for only using one towel and for buying local honey. He is also praised for not leaving the tap running while brushing his teeth.
There’s just one problem with all this, and that’s that the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by flying to New Zealand from the U.K. or L.A. dwarfs – in the alarmist worldview to which Harry and other global elites subscribe – any environmental benefit from buying local honey or reusing a towel. An economy class return flight between London and New Zealand emits around 5.5 tonnes of CO2. That’s not far off three times the two tonnes of CO2 the average U.K. motorist (driving 7,400 miles) emits each year.
Harry, of course, doesn’t fly economy class. A first class return flight from Los Angeles to New Zealand emits around 40 tonnes of CO2 – equivalent to around 20 years of driving for the average U.K. motorist.
And that’s to say nothing of his use of private jets, estimated to emit up to 14 times more CO2 per passenger than commercial flights. While it appears Harry didn’t actually fly out to New Zealand to make this film – perhaps anticipating the obvious criticism for doing so – he is still tacitly promoting flying to New Zealand for a holiday.
But if you believe, as Harry does, that what stands between us and climate catastrophe is the amount of carbon dioxide humans emit, there are more obvious problems with trips to New Zealand, or flying in general, than where you sourced your honey or how many times you used your towel.
I’m also not sure how many people trying to enjoy their holiday are really going to welcome the feedback of a preachy green organisation hectoring them for not turning the tap off. Can’t see it flying somehow.