If you’re one of those people looking to breathe fresh air, drink from paper or metal straws, and recycle like your life depended on it, be sure to visit one of these awesome places and live your best eco-friendly life.
Finland is the most eco-friendly country in the world right now. But to be honest, all of the Nordic countries take the top four spots for most eco-friendly. This includes Iceland, Sweden and Denmark. They’re obviously taking tips from their neighbors, and have similar priorities when it comes to power conservation and forest preservation. 35% of Finland’s power comes from renewable sources, and tight protection laws are in place for endangered species like the Saimaa ringed seal (the rarest seal in the world).
For a country that is smaller than the size of New Jersey, Slovenia is still covered in four major natural regions: the Alps, Dinarides, Pannonian Plain and the Mediterranean. It’s received 96 out of 100 sustainability factors and is 60% covered in forest, so preservation is a high priority. If you’re looking to explore 40+ parks and reserves on vacation in the future, be sure to do it in Slovenia.
Over the last few years, Spain’s eco-friendly initiatives have changed drastically, and for the better. Between the super streamlined public transit system and various ‘must see’ attractions surrounded by walking and cycle trails, eco-tourism has been heavily established and promoted. There’s a solid 40 miles of paths that connect Jaen and Alcaudete for you to feast your eyes on; rolling hills and peaks for days. Eco farms seems to be a big thing now as well, places where you can camp in a Mongolian style yurt and draw your own spring water, with the perk of waking up to breathtaking scenery and fresher than fresh air
Portugal is one not normally highlighted as an eco-friendly country, but you better believe that the Portuguese have really directed a lot of energy into reducing their carbon footprint. They have achieved a significant reduction in the greenhouse emissions, with one of their most famous regions (Azores) being named the most sustainable destination in Europe in 2014.
For such a small country, Estonia has been making huge strides to becoming more environmentally friendly. The majority is on board being eco-friendly, so much so that pretty much anywhere you decide to book accommodation has received the Green Key Label. Partly because half of the territory is covered in forest, so anything built and grown is naturally organic.
Another small island but with high energy and effort for eco-friendliness. Much of the revenue for Malta comes from agritourism trips, experiences where you can see the land and learn traditional farming techniques from locals. And a superior train system makes it easy to travel between towns, so you can be sure to check out the capital’s beautiful architecture.
Aside from the obvious reasons to visit France, they’ve got a pretty cool set up when it comes to the eco-friendly initiatives. Let’s start with the flying water taxis, or SeaBubbles. They use electric propulsion to glide across the water, emitting zero noise, zero CO2 emissions and zero disruptive waves. Then there’s La REcyclerie, an electric cultural centre in the heart of Paris that offers super cool, eco-friendly initiatives (like a flea market with a repair corner teaching easy DIY skills, a cooking workshop teaching seasonal recipes and various volunteer projects).
So many pockets of the United Kingdom are known for and continue to establish a reputation of being eco-friendly. Nearby Wales, for instance, is home to the Centre for Alternative Technology, a sustainable community founded in the mid 1970s that features environmentally responsible buildings. Also they have this amazing water balanced cliff railway that overlooks crazy mountain and valley views. And then there’s the small Eigg Island that doesn’t need outside help from anyone to stay fully eco-friendly.
It’s a common perception that every Middle Eastern economy relies completely on fossils fuels, but the UAE is working towards being more eco-friendly by 2050.
It wants to present itself as a country that has invested in clean technologies and sustainable development. As a result, the government is doing its best to support whatever green ideas come its way with serious cash and interesting initiatives like “The change Initiative” which encourages selling of green products, “Estidama” which is an initiative which aims to make the country fully sustainable by targeting residential areas and buildings, governmental entities, and commerce buildings to meet environmental standards, and “Switching to green concrete” which makes it mandatory for all construction companies in Dubai to use green concrete instead of the usual Portland cement (OPC).
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