Life is about balance and a love for our planet - and that is something that everyone, even the most seasoned of travelers, need to keep into consideration during their next trip! To ensure that we are reducing our global carbon footprint and practicing a little sustainability on our trips, it is important to consider how traveling can affect overall our environment and the environments of other towns or countries. In considering taking your next trip, we talked already about how to travel eco-friendly, but now we will consider the destination itself! Choosing something instagrammable over the actually quality of the destination isn't always as helpful, and these places can actually make a huge impact on the ecological preservation of out planet. There are many countries and cities that have taken sustainability into consideration, begin to realize how they can reduce their carbon footprint while still being an inviting and worthy destination for its tourists. We have complied a list of some of these countries that we would love to share with you! These are our top six sustainable destinations to visit for your next vacation:
The Republic of Palau
If you like sunny beaches, tropical paradises, and deep sea diving, this place just might be for you! (Honestly in just seeing these pictures, I totally would want to move here myself!) The Republic of Palau is one for the most beautiful destinations out there, with many sustainable practices being in place that will surely please any eco-traveler. When you arrive at the island, you first most sign a pledge that’s stamped into your passport and declare to the nation’s children that you will help preserve and protect their island home. The island itself has designated the first ever world's shark sanctuary back in 2009, and have since made efforts to protect 80% of its territorial waters as a marine sanctuary in 2015. The island is also making efforts to ban certain sunscreens in which their ingredients contain environmental pollutants that can be damaging to coral reefs that reside within the country's waters.
Vast canals, colorful and picturesque city streets, and all the charm, Ljubljana, Slovenia may just be heaven on Earth! Ljubljana is Slovenia's largest city capital, making huge strides when it comes to sustainability and ecological conservation. Since 2008, the city center has been traffic-free, focusing on creating a pedestrian zone that can also be used by cyclists. There are also hundreds of green zones and parks spread throughout the capital, where the city takes care of over 4,500 beehives along it's paths, which we all know are extremely important for our environment! The city itself is also aiming on creating events and experiences for it's tourists year round, making it a perfect destination for any time!
Chumbe Island, Tanzania
Just off the coast of Zanzibar lies the beautiful island of Chumbe, Tanzania - a stunning protected tropical paradise that houses one of the top sustainable tourist designations. There is a private nature reserve that is home to a fully protected Coral Reef Sanctuary and Forest Reservation where tourists and travelers can visit! You can snorkel with the thousands of fish there, hopefully being able spot rare wildlife like the small Aders’s duiker and enormous coconut crab. The buildings on this island are also completely eco-friendly, with the island making efforts to conserve water and rainfall, use solar water heating, and create compostable toilets.
Goeree-Overflakke, Netherlands is true beauty - being an island right off of South Holland, it carries an excellent reputation of sustainable living among its residents, which has naturally extended to industries that touch tourism. By this year, the town has pledged to be completely energy-neutral, taking advantage of its natural resources like water, sunlight, and wind to create sustainable-energy projects. The town also practices and promotes recycling initiatives and even tries to create its own energy.
Lake Tahoe, USA
Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lakes in the United States, being a certainly instagrammable eco-friendly tourist destination for all. Over the years, being an amazing place for outdoor activities, have caused damage to the water resulting in mass watershed. However, new ecological efforts have been places to ensure that the lake constantly improves - promoting the clarity of the lake, creating fish and wildlife habitat restoration, and improving the forest health, and more! Visitors can do their part to help this sustainable destination, too, by picking up trash, staying on designated trails, and limiting car usage as much as possible while still being able to enjoy all of which the lake as to offer!
Åsnen, Sweden is straight out of a storybook. The lake is home to over 1,000 archipelagos as well as being one of the most transcendent nature reservations and national parks of the world. The locals are serious about conserving the beauty that is the flora and wildlife of Åsnen. For example, they make efforts to safeguard and protect the sensitive birdlife throughout the destination. During specific times of the year, visitors are actually prohibited from visiting the park, allowing for the birds to be protected during breeding. Locals and travelers are highly encouraged to treat the land with upmost respect, staying true to the footpaths and trails that are spread out throughout the destination.
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