If you hadn’t already guessed it by my entire blog, I’m passionate about travel and backpacking. Unfortunately, with every flight taken, and every step trodden, the environment suffers as a result – and I’m only learning more about it by returning home. Whilst it’s evident society is becoming more conscious about their carbon footprint, I think we can all relate to being the person who loves travel but doesn’t really know the best way to do it sustainably – ENTER EMILY. I’m keen to give you as much information about how to be a more sustainable traveller as possible from ALL my research – and there’s been a lot! Let’s start with the most environmentally conscious countries to add to your 2021 bucketlist. If we’re going to – hopefully – get back to travelling around the globe, let’s look at visiting the most sustainable travel destinations and give back.
1. The Netherlands
What’s not to love about visiting The Netherlands for a trip with their picturesque canals, their fabulous Stroopwafels (which, to all my gluten free fellows, are AVAILABLE GLUTEN-LESS IN ALBERT HEIJN) and their delicious Bitterballen – but this is not a paragraph simply dedicated to my love of Dutch food. With over 9,000 miles of bike paths across The Netherlands and bicycles the preferred method of transport, it’s no wonder that the country came fifth in the European Green City Index for the Most Environmentally Friendly Cities in Europe. As if I couldn’t love The Netherlands enough, it’s great news knowing they’re passionate about responsible tourism. Get it on the 2021 bucketlist folks!
Next on my list of sustainable tourist destinations is NORWAY. I love Norway. In fact, now that it’s looking more and more likely I won’t be returning to a big worldwide trip anytime soon, I’m noting down the European countries I must visit – and Norway is top of it. I’m eager to do a LOT of hiking and hug my best buddy Julie who lives there (whilst making her tour me around for a week mwahahah). The hikes and the outstanding scenery the country has to offer takes my breath away (ya know, from the pictures I’ve seen) and therefore it’s great to know they’re also very hot on looking after the environment. Did you know that 50% of the vehicles registered in Norway are electric? If that’s not impressive enough, they have a plan to reduce and potentially end gas and diesel vehicle sales by 2025 and believe that in ten years time, they will have reduced CO2 emissions by 95%. Boom.
Slovenia isn’t on everyone’s list to visit, but if you do, you won’t be disappointed with the spectacular Lake Bled. The country is trying their best to be as environmentally-friendly as possible with 75% of their electricity actually coming from hydro-electric dams and their city buses are run on natural gas. You can relax in the knowledge that you’re having a totally guilt free holiday whilst you visit eco-friendly farms and swim with sea turtles! Here’s another interesting fact – they’ve won the European European Destination of Excellence Awards three years running! Without a doubt, Slovenia HAS to be on your post COVID lockdown list.
Who on earth knew that Rwanda would be one of the most environmentally-conscious countries to live in or travel to? Their government has made looking after mother nature one of their top priorities, ensuring once a month there is a day dedicated to cleaning up the country as well as banning plastic bags throughout. If you fancy exploring further afield, there are lots of tourist companies providing activities contributing to wildlife conservation for you to jump on. When can I visit?
You’ve probably heard of Borneo as a traveller’s paradise, providing incredible hikes, wonderful and rare wildlife and outdoor activities readily available. Whether you want to relax amongst the abundance of nature surrounding you at every corner or go scuba diving, the island ensures that being environmentally friendly plays a massive role in their tourism business. It’s great to know that many tour companies in Borneo have adopted the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as commonplace – so you can travel Borneo with these companies, safe in the knowledge you’re giving back to the environment. I’m creating a list of eco lodges and tours that tickle my fancy – and I’m a big fan of Borneo Eco Tours and the Sukau Rainforest Lodge! Take a look at them!
Which countries do YOU know that are eco-friendly and passionate about conserving the environment? Let me know in the comments below!