Sven | Jul 2, 2019
Visitors can certainly bring in revenue and help boost the country’s economy, however they can also be quite careless, wasteful, and disrespectful toward the culture and their surroundings. For a responsible tourist, self-awareness is key, and choosing where to spend your holidays can help you on your path to sustainability.
Are you eager to get away from the hustle and bustle of your own city and explore interesting destinations in a responsible, eco-friendly manner? Then take a look at the places that should be your top choices.
This picturesque archipelago might be small, but it’s certainly ambitious. Their aim is to rely 100 percent on completely renewable energy by 2030, so if you’re looking for a green paradise, this is where you’ll find it. Islands have favorable conditions for setting up wind farms and solar panels. And the Faroe Islands even have sustainable fisheries.
Regardless of these marvelous practices, the Faroe Islands are simply gorgeous. You definitely won’t lack for peace on this remote location, but you also won’t lack for entertainment. From uniquely delicious food, to live concerts inside grottos, there’s plenty to enjoy here.
Any kind of hiking vacation is a good idea for a sustainable traveler because you won’t be increasing your carbon footprint, and get to immerse yourself in the culture (instead of observing it from a distance). The Camino de Santiago, or the Way of Saint James, takes the cake. It’s a cluster of pilgrim’s routes that all lead to a little town called Santiago de Compostela. Whether you seek spirituality or the simple peacefulness of a hiking vacation, this is a good choice. It lets you walk through cities, villages, and gorgeous countryside, and really get to know the people of Spain. It also supports the local economy. If you want to go even further, you can apply for a volunteering job in one of the hostels for pilgrims.
Kerala is a part of India, and it hosts something truly special — the first-ever sustainable adventure park! Called the Jatayu Earth Center, it offers you everything from wellness to leisure and is surrounded by its own agricultural area where farmers grow everything organically. If you want a well-rounded experience, this is definitely it. There are plenty of activities to spark your interest: archery, bouldering, spelunking, fine dining, galleries, and not to mention, plenty of interesting flora and fauna.
Slovenia is often overlooked in favor of other European countries, which is a real shame considering Ljubljana is one of the most beautiful, sustainable cities in the world. It won the 2016 European Green Capital award, and it’s been popular ever since. The preferred mode of transportation is a bicycle, and the rivers are so clear and nature so verdant that it feels like a lovely little slice of heaven.
Take one of the many culinary tours, check out the Triglav National Park, try their delicious Maribor wine, and take a boat trip to see the Lake Bohinj — you certainly won’t get bored, and you’ll love meeting Slovenians and enjoying their friendly ways.
If you want to be surrounded by untouched nature, you can’t go wrong with New Zealand. This country is stepping up its eco-friendly practices and trying to become more sustainable. They even took a sustainability commitment and it’s clear they are trying to orient their industry toward the preservation of wildlife and the environment.
So, where should you start? Try the glow-worm caves in Waitomo; you’ll see natural limestone formations and become mesmerized by glow-worm clusters and cave decorations. Astro-tourism is also a big thing here, and if you want to gaze at the stars and see the Southern Cross formation, take a trip to the Waikato observatory. Bird-watching on Stewart Island or exploring geothermal rock formations are also some great, sustainable ways to make the best of your trip.
Travel is an important aspect of green living, and if you want to make it sustainable, make sure to check out these locations.
Rebecca Brown is a freelance translator passionate about her work, and grateful for the travels it has taken her on. She has recently started writing about some of her experiences at RoughDraft.