With the world population projected to reach 9.8 billion by 2050, and the ever increasing pressure on our natural environment, it’s more important than ever to be conscious of our own impact and to make good choices both at home and when we travel! With that in mind, we bring you the most eco-friendly countries in the world to visit! Read on to discover what these countries are doing to promote responsible tourism!
It’s likely no surprise that the country that’s branded itself “Clean, Green” for over the last 20 years managed to make it onto this list; but yes, clean, green New Zealand is an incredibly eco-friendly country with a well-established infrastructure for nature tourism. With a strong commitment to be fossil-fuel free by 2025, New Zealand has also earned itself a place at the forefront of the fight against climate change.
Offering stunning parks, beaches, marine reserves, and the famous Waitomo Glowworm Caves, New Zealand is an excellent destination for any eco-conscious traveller!
In the past decade, Iceland has made headlines for a number of issues; but financial crisis aside, most have been related to its beautiful scenery and renewable energy policies. Currently, about 85% of the country’s total primary energy supply is derived from renewable energy sources (geothermal producing by far the largest portion: 65%), a higher national energy budget than any other country in the world.
On top of its energy policy, however, Iceland has made sustainable fisheries and tackling ocean pollution national priorities. No small wonder, considering the island’s dependence on the surrounding fishing grounds. But policies aside, the country’s breathtaking landscapes, hotsprings, whale watching and Northern Lights make it a trip for the bucket list!
Land of fjords, mountains, glaciers, forests and rivers, Norway is an absolutely breathtaking country that should be on everyone’s travel list. All the more so, for it’s remarkable commitment to preserving the integrity of its natural environment. As an oil-producing country, Norway can well be criticized; but there is no question that the small country of 5 million has made better use of its oil-wealth than (probably) any other country on the planet: funding social welfare programs and environmental initiatives.
As Europe’s largest supplier of hydroelectricity and with a commitment to become carbon neutral by 2030, not to mention a total of eight officially-certified sustainable tourist destinations, Norway is definitely one of the most eco-friendly countries in the world for locals and tourists alike.
As the most forested country in all of Europe, not to mention the resident population of 200,000 reindeer, Finland has a lot to take care of. But they haven’t shied away from the challenge and have proven themselves to be a role model for the rest of the world to follow! The Environmental Performance Index has consistently given Finland high rankings for habitat protection, biodiversity, water and sanitation and, more recently, it’s commitment to reaching carbon neutrality by 2050.
With 40 beautiful national parks and a hip capital city, Finland is a great holiday spot for cultural and adventure tourism alike!
Looking for an eco-friendly tropical escape? Palau, an island republic in the Pacific, could be just the spot! Crystal clear waters filled with marine life surround the more than 200 islands that make up the country, and every reef in the region is a protected no-fishing zone. That’s good news for divers! Above water, you’ll find beautiful forests and unspoiled beaches.
With a firm commitment to sustainable tourism, Palau offers the vacation of your dreams with none of the guilt!
Costa Rica currently derives 95% of its electricity needs from renewable energy sources and has committed itself to become the first carbon-neutral country in the world by 2021. Throw in the fact that about 25% of its territory is now protected in national parks and nature preserves, there is no question that Costa Rica is one of the greenest countries on Earth!
With 5% of the world’s biodiversity, and the ability to cycle from the Pacific to the Gulf of Mexico, a trip to Costa Rica is a trip you can feel good about!
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