From Costa Rica to San Francisco via the island nation of Palau, discover eight eco-friendly destinations around the world.
At a time when the global environmental situation has become somewhat catastrophic, some countries are more committed than others to embracing sustainable development and safeguarding our planet’s future. Whether through technological innovations, urban policies, or particularly well-preserved and biologically diverse ecosystems, Musement unveils eight eco-friendly destinations. To make your stay even more environmentally responsible, follow our eco-friendly travel tips!
Seeking to reduce its carbon footprint as much as possible, Norway’s eco-smart capital, Oslo, has distinguished itself for several years for having adopted and put sustainable urban construction projects into practice. The European Commission has rightly designated it as the European Green Capital for 2019. A stay in this smart city—especially in the new Vulkan eco-district—will allow you to discover what we hope will become the future of metropolitan living.
Did you know that in Vancouver, renewable energies account for 90% of all the energy used in the city? A true model city for North America, Vancouver will seduce you with its vast network of parks, its ample bike paths and pedestrian streets dotted here and there with pleasant community gardens.
Buttressed high in the Himalayas between northern India and southern China, this kingdom, about the size of Switzerland, is the only country in the world to have a negative carbon footprint. Bhutan has only been open to tourism since 1974, but everyone who visits helps to support sustainable development within the country. A daily sustainable development tax of just over $60 per day is required.
4. Costa Rica
Costa Rica has long been an affirmed eco-tourism destination. As early as 1997, this small Central American country received a Certificate for Sustainable Tourism (CST) to encourage the development of eco-responsible tourism through local structures. With the more than 25% of its territory declared national parks, wildlife reserves, and protected lands, you’ll feel in harmony with your surroundings. For a 100% sustainable holiday, you can stay in one of the many local eco-lodges like the incredible and innovative Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation Resort.
5. San Francisco
The U.S. is well known for its high level of pollution (one of the highest in the world), yet some cities such as San Francisco have adopted policy measures to promote sustainable development. To this end, the City by the Bay has become a pioneer for environmental preservation, aiming to reach “zero waste” in 2020 (and already at 80% of its target).
The Arabian Peninsula has rarely been associated with ecology. However, the Sultanate of Oman has begun strongly encouraging the development of eco-responsible tourism and promoting the richness of a natural heritage that’s discoverable through mountain trekking, snorkeling, mountain bike trails, and guided tours of its rose plantations in the spring. Currently under construction, the Oman Botanical Gardens in Muscat should soon open. The project was conceived to protect local biodiversity and save endangered plant species in a complex with a reduced ecological footprint.
7. New Zealand
We couldn’t talk of eco-friendly destinations without touching on the unique, well-preserved ecosystem of New Zealand. This paradise offers endless excursions for discovering incomparable fauna and flora. That said, the country does face many environmental problems, particularly due to mass tourism. Thus, starting this October 1, any tourist arriving in New Zealand will need to pay a $35 NZ eco-tax called the IVL (International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy), conceived to help with the country’s ecological transition and preservation of the environment.
The Palau Islands in Oceania are a scuba-diving paradise, yet the hordes of tourists don’t always bring experienced ecological awareness. To prevent further deterioration of this wonderful and unique ecosystem (not to mention the dramatic consequences of global warming felt here a little more each year), the Republic of Palau adopted a tourism policy in 2017 that has not gone unnoticed. Every tourist wishing to visit these islands must first have his or her passport stamped and also sign the Palau Pledge. Written by the country’s children, this oath encourages visitors to respect the environment and leave no trace. Only once this ecological commitment is signed can a visa be granted to tourists.