Many of us dream of traveling the world. Imagine just hopping on a plane and visiting as many countries as you want. Unfortunately, traveling can be pretty tough on the environment. What’s an eco-conscious traveler to do? Choosing to visit countries that actively encourage green initiatives is a great start.
Imagine traveling to places that are kind to the environment, countries that do their part to help save our planet. Keep reading for a tour of some of the most eco-friendly places on Earth.
What is Eco-Friendly Travel?
Before we get to our list, let’s discuss what ‘Eco-friendly travel’ means. To put it simply, it’s a way of exploring the world while reducing harm to the planet and supporting local communities.
You might hear it referred to as ‘sustainable travel’, ‘responsible travel’, or ‘conscious travel’. Sustainable travel is about going to countries without hurting the environment. Conscious travel can actually help the places and communities we visit.
Here are some things you can do to start traveling sustainably:
- Respecting Nature: Eco-friendly travelers value the environment. From eco-friendly travel gear to putting green travel tips into action, they make choices that don’t harm nature. This means not littering, keeping a safe distance from wildlife, and supporting places that protect nature.
- Using Clean Energy: Responsible travelers use clean energy sources like wind, sun, and water to reduce pollution. They choose to stay in hotels or use transportation that runs on clean energy.
- Supporting Local Communities: Eco-friendly travelers give back to the locals. This might include buying local products, eating at local restaurants, and supporting local artists. It helps the local economy and keeps the culture alive.
- Being Mindful of Resources: Eco-friendly travelers use resources like water and energy with care. They take shorter showers, turn off lights they aren’t using, and do not waste food.
- Reducing Waste: Eco-friendly travelers try to produce as little trash as possible. They may carry reusable water bottles and bags to avoid single-use plastics.
- Learning and Respecting Culture: Responsible travelers take time to learn about the culture and traditions of the places they’re in. They take care to avoid doing things that might disrespect the local people.
- Choosing Eco-Friendly Lodges: Travelers who want to protect the environment often stay in eco-friendly hotels, lodges, or hostels.
5 Remarkable Sustainable Initiatives Around the World
#1. Costa Rica: Where Nature Comes First
Costa Rica is all about taking care of the Earth. The country’s commitment to protecting natural resources makes it one of the best eco-friendly travel destinations in the world. From eco-lodges to community-led sustainability efforts, the country celebrates its beauty by protecting it.
In 2019, the UN honored Costa Rica with its first-ever U.N. Champion of the Earth award. The country was recognized for fighting climate change. They use clean energy like water and wind power. They have a lot of parks and special places to keep animals and plants safe.
#2. Bhutan: A Country That Measures Happiness
Bhutan is a special place in the mountains. It is the first negative-carbon country in the world. Trees cover over 70% of Bhutan’s land. This means that it absorbs more carbon than it emits.
Not only does this highlight the importance of trees, but also it shows us what a difference a country can make.
#3. Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay: Nature in the City
Singapore boasts some of the most beautiful greenery in the world. Gardens by the Bay is more than a green wonderland. It’s a dedicated housing project for the elderly.
Not only do the Gardens protect Singapore’s environment. It helps protect people. The garden literally protects the environment.
In fact, the initiative won critical recognition at the World Architecture Festival in 2018. The gardens have won more accolades and honors since then.
#4. Norway: Leaders in Electric Cars
Norway is committed to green transportation. That means making its cities walkable or bikeable and encouraging the use of electric vehicles. This improves air quality and reduces pollution so that locals and tourists alike can enjoy all the country has to offer.
The capital city of Oslo is known as the EV capital of the world. In fact, in 2023, the city won an E-Visionary Award for their efforts.
#5. Copenhagen, Denmark: A Green City
City planners have taken great care to map it out in a way that benefits the environment. Not only is it one of the most bikeable and walkable cities on earth. It continues to win awards and accolades for its efforts.
As global sustainability efforts gain attention, more countries are looking into what they can do to help. When you visit these places, you’re not only witnessing some of the most amazing wonders on Earth. You’re also contributing to the global effort to protect and preserve these sites for generations of travelers to come.
Ready to explore the most awe-inspiring sustainable wonders Mother Nature has to offer? Safe travels!