With the general public becoming more and more aware of environmental issues, travelers are also looking to lessen their carbon footprint when jetting off to a new destination.
This involves many steps, such as opting for eco-friendly airlines, lessening plastic use, and taking extra care when visiting natural areas. The notion that we only have one planet seems to be sinking in while people strive to take better care of the environment.
Now, many places are offering eco-friendly vacations, allowing you to see the sites while not impacting the environment. If this sounds like something that would be up your alley, then check out these great eco-friendly destinations below.
Grab a coat, because it’s about to get really, really cold. Finland has consistently ranked high when it comes to becoming carbon neutral by 2050. They’re the leaders in Europe and maybe the entire world.
The country strives to maintain a high level of biodiversity and conservation, being home to over 40 national parks with plenty of forests. The country is also home to thousands of reindeer, although there is no guarantee that you are going to see Santa walking among them.
Heading to the opposite side of the world, literally, New Zealand is a hiker’s paradise. The country is aiming to be completely free from fossil fuels by 2025, aiming to use its natural geothermal energy instead.
Lord of the Rings fans will be happy to know that there is much more to do on the island nation than visit The Shire. There are plenty of natural wonders, volcanoes, glowworm caves, beaches, forests, and animal watching. You won’t have to worry about staying fit here. One could easily spend weeks here and not see everything there is to see.
While we’re down in the southern hemisphere, we might as well hop over to New Zealand’s neighbor, Australia. Home to the Great Barrier Reef, Australia has recently been pushing for a more eco-friendly country aiming to cut its reliance on fossil fuels by 20% over the next few years.
This has not come without controversy, however, as Australia was recently barred from speaking at the UN’s climate summit as part of the government still supports coal.
Nonetheless, there are plenty of islands and coastal areas around Australia that strive to be eco-friendly and respectful of nature.
These beautiful islands are situated off the coast of Portugal and are sometimes seen as a great meeting place between those coming from North America and those in Europe. The Azores are made up nine separate islands that are brimming with natural wonders.
You’ll find plenty of different animal species, places to see whales and dolphins, mountains, natural springs, waterfalls, pristine beaches, and much more.
Tour guides in The Azores put an emphasis on being eco-friendly, so you know that you will not be disturbing any natural habitat or area.
This island is controlled by three separate countries: Brunei, Indonesia, and Malaysia. Even though the island is divided, all three countries have come together in an effort to preserve biodiversity and natural areas. There is currently some controversy as Indonesia wishes to move its capital to the island, but other areas remain preserved and pristine.
The island is home to tons of eco-friendly hotels and tour options. You’ll be surrounded by forests, mountains, animals, and beaches during your stay. Still largely untouched by tourists, you’ll want to head here if you’re looking for a calm, slower-paced vacation.
After speaking about the king of environmentally friendly practices in Europe, it’s time to head to the environmentally friendly king of South America: Costa Rica. Costa Rica has held this title for a very long time, being renowned for not only their government rules and regulations but also their huge push for eco-tourism and travel.
About 25% of the entire country is protected through national parks and the country is about as close as you can get to using 100% renewable energy. They sit at 95% right now and will become the world’s first carbon neutral country sometime within the next few years.
That being said, there are plenty of eco-friendly tours, activities, and places to visit. Because of these measures, the country is gorgeous and quite easy to travel to.
Photo by Lesly Derksen