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Top 5 Eco-Friendly Destinations for Environmentally-Conscious Travellers

As travellers seek to minimise their carbon footprint and support sustainable practices, eco-friendly travel destinations are becoming increasingly popular. Here are five top eco-friendly destinations for travellers who want to explore beautiful natural landscapes while promoting responsible tourism.

costa rica
Costa Rica. Photo by Zdeněk Macháček on Unsplash
  1. Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a pioneer in eco-tourism, known for its lush rainforests, diverse wildlife, and commitment to conservation. Costa Rica produces nearly 93 percent of its electricity from renewable resources and 30 percent of its territory is protected natural land (source www.visitcostarica.com). The country boasts a network of national parks and protected areas, making it a haven for nature lovers. Visitors can engage in activities such as wildlife watching, hiking, and sustainable coffee farm tours. Costa Rica promotes renewable energy sources and has a strong focus on biodiversity protection.

  1. Norway

Norway is renowned for its stunning fjords, pristine wilderness, and dedication to sustainability. The country has a well-established eco-tourism infrastructure, including eco-friendly accommodations and electric vehicle-friendly roads. Norway has the highest electric car adoption in the world and the government has pledged to be climate neutral by 2030. Visitors to Norway can enjoy activities like hiking, kayaking, and wildlife safaris while appreciating Norway’s commitment to renewable energy and reducing carbon emissions.

Iceland. Photo by Andrey Andreyev on Unsplash
  1. Iceland

Iceland is a recognised, respected leader in cultural, social and environmental sustainability and the winner of Sustain Europe’s Safe & Sustainable Tourism Awards 2021 (source: www.sustaineurope.com). Iceland is a land of natural wonders, from glaciers and waterfalls to geothermal hot springs. The country harnesses its abundant geothermal energy for heating and electricity, reducing its reliance on fossil fuels. Visitors can explore the country’s unique landscapes, including the Golden Circle, while supporting environmentally-conscious practices and eco-certified accommodations.

New Zealand. Photo by Aneta Hartmannová on Unsplash
  1. New Zealand

New Zealand has 13 national parks, and about one-third of its land area is protected in parks and reserves (source: www.newzealandtrademanual.com). New Zealand is famous for its breathtaking scenery, including mountains, fjords, and pristine beaches. The country is committed to protecting its natural heritage and has a strong eco-tourism focus. Travellers can participate in sustainable adventures like hiking the Milford Track, exploring geothermal areas, and learning about indigenous Maori culture and conservation efforts.

Bhutan. Photo by Daniel Grandfield on Unsplash
  1. Bhutan

Bhutan is often cited as one of the world’s most environmentally-conscious destinations. It measures its success not only by GDP but also by Gross National Happiness and places a strong emphasis on environmental conservation. Bhutan’s constitution mandates that 60% of its landmass be maintained and protected as forest and uses controlled, low impact tourism to maintain this (source: www.nationalgeographic.com). Visitors can trek through the pristine Himalayan landscapes, immerse themselves in Bhutanese culture, and support the country’s carbon-neutral initiatives.

Remember that being an eco-conscious traveller doesn’t just involve choosing the right destination but also making responsible choices during your trip. This includes minimising plastic usage, taking environmentally friendly transport, supporting local communities, and respecting the natural environment. Before travelling, research the eco-friendly initiatives and responsible tourism practices in your chosen destination to ensure your trip aligns with your sustainability goals.