4 Environmentally Savvy Destinations
A look at eco-friendly nations
People are looking for ways to travel more responsibly so they can do something to help preserve our planet. It looks like the pandemic has only accelerated this trend, especially as demand for travel increases.
This increasing curiosity is accompanied by a desire to travel to eco-friendly countries and develop a sustainable itinerary. If you’re in the same boat, check out these 4 eco-friendly places for your next vacation!
Due to its distinctive geological setting, Iceland has also been referred to as “The land of Ice and Fire.” The island’s geothermal systems are powered by the highly active volcanic zone of the Mid- Atlantic Ridge, which connects the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. Thanks to Iceland’s advantageous location, Icelanders now have extensive access to renewable energy.
Moreover, the country is overrun by glaciers with glacier coverage amounting to more than 11%. As the glaciers melt seasonally, it helps with hydropower generation. These seasonal melts trickle down from the glacial mountains, rivers, and seas, enabling Iceland’s hydropower resources.
To date, Iceland’s economy is currently largely supported by geothermal and hydropower. These resources aid in supplying homes and energy-intensive industries with electricity and heat. For example, the majority of Reykjavik’s (a city in Iceland) electricity and heating comes from geothermal and hydroelectric sources.
HERE’S A FUN FACT: Reykjavik is also among the world’s greenest and cleanest cities!
Finland is often lauded for its progressive thinking in environmental policies and sustainable developments. This can be seen when Finland pledged its commitment to become carbon neutral by 2035. Additionally, the Finnish strategy also envisions 250,000 electric vehicles (10% of the total number of automobiles in the nation) on Finnish roads by 2030.
Since enacting a carbon tax in 1990, which was the first country to do so, Finland’s greenhouse gas emissions have significantly decreased. The largest lake district in all of Europe is also located in Finland, leading Finland to also be referred to as the Land of a Thousand Lakes. Known as Lahti Lakeland, the Finns travel here to unwind and get back in touch with nature. The Lakeland is a maze of interconnected forests, lakes, and islands that form ridges and pathways leading to hidden lagoons.
You can also visit the Finnish Laplands which are rich in contrasts and home to rare natural phenomena like the Northern Lights, Polar Nights and more! Finland has made it a point to emphasise on ecotourism with many tour organisers offering safaris and activities specially curated for eco-conscious travellers.
#3 New Zealand
With a population of five million, New Zealand is a melting pot of cultures with a history that blends Mauri, European, Pacific Island, and Asian influences. Together, the vibrant people of New Zealand work hand-in-hand to uphold their commitment for a sustainable future.
This can be seen when New Zealand is thought to produce just 0.2 percent of the world’s total greenhouse emission. New Zealand was also one of the first countries to pledge a carbon-neutral future. Companies and industries in New Zealand are also striving to achieve Carbon Zero certification in which companies accurately measure and take action to reduce their carbon footprint.
Furthermore, New Zealand is also gifted with colourful terrains, mesmerising beaches, and a good climate with exciting flora and fauna species. These unique features often attract the attention from tourists all around the world. Hence, the Kiwis have made it a point to focus on ecotourism where all stakeholders work together to reduce the negative impacts on the surrounding environment.
Additionally, some areas in New Zealand have also started implementing geothermal power. In 2017, it is estimated that over 17% of all the electricity produced, were generated from geothermal energy.
Norway is ahead of its time with its pioneering progressive sustainable changes nationwide. Norway tops the list for its contribution towards a better climate and planet as a whole.
Similar to other eco-conscious countries, Norway has also pledged to be climate neutral by 2030. Apart from that, the people of Norway also hold the record for the highest number of electric car adoption in the world.
The Nordics have also passionately embraced the concept of friluftsliv which translates to “open-air living”. In the spirit of friluftsliv, people in Norway alongside other Nordic countries unwind in the open air after a particularly tough time or just for the sole purpose of relaxing. It’s the ultimate love confession for the outdoors.
The people of Norway explore the outdoors and venture out into various terrains to achieve bliss. The sight of calm blue waters or lush greeneries aid in maintaining the spiritual and physical well-being of the Norwegians. Outdoor activities such as camping and hiking are crowd favourite activities.
If you’re looking to incorporate green elements in your travel plans, we’re rooting for you! It’s always good to be an eco-conscious traveller and to go green whenever we can. Happy travelling!
GREEN TRAVELLING TIPS
#1 Try to use public modes of transportation such as bus, trains or other forms of rail system.
#2 If you’re thinking of renting a car, try to opt for a hybrid car or an electric car.
#3 If you’re visiting a small town and looking to commute, you can try cycling around town.
#4 Take a shower instead of a bath.
#5 When leaving the hotel or your place of accommodation, remember to turn off the switches and unplug any electrical appliances.
#6 Support local sustainable businesses and entrepreneurs.
#7 Avoid single-use plastics and carry your own stainless steel cutlery to avoid using plastic cutlery.
#8 Choose sustainable accommodations if you have the option to choose.
Source: Euro News, Visit Lahti, This Is Finland, United Nations’ Sustainable Development Website, Visit Laplands, Visit Finland, Visit Iceland, Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment New Zealand, Newzealand.com, Tourism Industry ATEAROA, Visit Norway, BBC