Ecotourism is on the rise. There’s no longer a place for irresponsible travel in the world. When you go on holiday, you need to make sure that you travel responsibly, support local businesses, and do your best to reduce your environmental footprint. Governments around the world are, quite rightly, becoming increasingly concerned with climate change and as individuals, one of the ways we can play our part in reducing global carbon emissions is by travelling sustainably and choosing holiday destinations with a low environmental footprint.
Ecotourism is a huge industry, so there’s no shortage of sustainable destinations for you to travel to.
In this article, we’re going to present the sunniest holiday destinations with a low environmental footprint:
If you’re going to make an effort to travel to countries that pride themselves on their sustainability, then you need to travel as sustainably as you can. Depending on where you are planning on going, you may have to fly. Many people have made a conscious choice never to fly unless they absolutely have to, so that may impact your choices. However, if you have chosen to fly, then take direct flights when possible. If you’re travelling domestically, take the train or travel by bus. A very popular way of travelling without harming the environment is backpacking. If you’re into cycling, then travelling by bicycle is a good option and an excellent way of really getting to know the country.
If you choose to fly to a destination this does have huge environmental impacts. Some people choose carbon offsets to mitigate all or part of those impacts but, importantly, if you do fly it is important to value and respect the people and places you visit and aim to make a positive impact to their society if you can.
Taking a ferry is also a popular and more environmentally friendly option and countries such as the Channel Islands, our first featured sunny holiday destination, are easily accessible by ferry.
If you’re looking for a travel destination that offers sustainable internal travel, lots of sunlight, and beautiful weather, then the Channel Islands should be at the top of your list.
Jersey, which is the Channel Islands’ largest island, aims to become completely carbon neutral by 2030. There are lots of activities and things that you can do to travel responsibly, such as travelling by bicycle or using the archipelago’s efficient public transport system instead of renting a car.
If you’re looking for things to do in Guernsey, which is the Channel Islands’ second largest island, then you won’t find yourself short of beautiful parks and beaches to visit. There’s also a very popular zoo, located in Jersey.
Both Guernsey and Jersey also have popular Zoos.
Uruguay is quickly becoming one of the world’s most popular ecotourism destinations. Lots of residents use solar electricity to power their homes. Some just use candlelight. There’s a huge fur seal and sea lion population, as well as a number of endangered species that exist in the country.
If you’re interested in travelling to a destination that’s warm, sunny, and welcoming, as well as concerned with reducing its carbon footprint, then Uruguay might be the place for you. The country boasts verdant expanses of lush forest, combined with sandy beaches, and crystal-clear waters as far as the eye can see. It’s also one of the safest countries in Latin America, which means that you can backpack or travel by bicycle.
Costa Rica has long been considered one of the world’s premier ecotourist destinations, primarily because of its cloud forest conservation project. In addition, hydroelectric plants power a third of the country’s electricity.
In the Costa Rican highlands, Quakers fleeing the Vietnam draft established a commune, primarily concerned with restoring and preserving the country’s wildlife.
The country’s largest reserve, the Children’s Eternal Rain Forest, is one of the Earth’s richest natural areas and is home to approximately 17% of the world’s species.
Rwanda is sunny, welcoming, and has beautiful wildlife unlike anywhere else in the world. Safari lodges located in the Virunga foothills help to provide funding for the conservation of the country’s last remaining mountain gorillas (which number fewer than 700).
By visiting Rwanda and supporting local conservation projects, you can help to combat poaching and illegal activities. Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park is also a great place that’s worth visiting, especially if you like hiking. You can go on self-guided tours or you can hire a guide to lead you.
Slovenia is another destination that’s worth visiting if you want to cut down on your environmental footprint. It is located in Central Europe and is best known for its rugged terrain and medieval villages and towns.
Slovenia also boasts an admirable conservation effort, offering a Green Scheme of Slovenian Tourism to travellers interested in travelling sustainably.
Slovenia’s capital Ljubljana is a great place for an environmental city break, with green mobility, efficient waste management, and sustainable urban living. The country’s rolling countryside consists of Alpine peaks, dense forests, vineyards, and even 46km of coastline.
Finland’s certainly sunny, but it can also be very cold! Nonetheless, it is a very beautiful country.
Nearly 80% of Finland’s land is wooded, which makes it a great destination for explorers. It boasts some of the clearest lakes and cleanest air in the entire world. The Scandinavian country also offers a Sustainable Finland program, which helps to map out a blueprint for visitors who want to travel sustainably.
Helsinki, Finland’s capital, runs on electricity that’s powered by the country’s many hydroelectric plants and wind turbines. If you’re interested in visiting a destination that’s concerned with cutting down on its carbon footprint and protecting the world, then Finland’s the destination for you. Many of its neighbouring countries have also introduced admirable eco-friendly travel options.
Portugal is one of Europe’s warmest countries, with more than 300 sunny days each year. It is located in the westernmost part of Europe and is becoming increasingly concerned with sustainability and ecotourism. The country’s government has instituted policies aimed at reducing the harmful impact tourism can have on the environment.
Like Finland and Slovenia, the country’s tourist board provides information to travellers who are concerned with reducing their environmental footprint.
The country has rich wildlife, including parks, beaches, and mountains. If you’re going to travel around Portugal and want to protect the environment, then why not consider travelling by bicycle?
Greece is another of Europe’s warmest and sunniest countries, unsurprisingly considering its place on the Mediterranean.
For a long time, Greece has been concerned with reducing its environmental footprint. Organic farming is a normality in the country, as well as conservation projects. Instead of relying on international agriculture, which contributes tremendously to carbon emissions, many Greek people grow or source their fruit and vegetables locally. This allows the country to significantly reduce its overall carbon footprint. Most of the food that’s served in restaurants and sold in shops is grown domestically, instead of it being imported.
Malawi is one of the world’s poorest countries. It is a landlocked African nation, sandwiched between Tanzania, Zambia, and Mozambique.
The country offers a number of different holiday schemes to international tourists that helps to invest in the country’s economy. If you want to help support struggling local people, then visiting Malawi is a good way to do so. You will provide direct support for the economy. You won’t have to rely on flights to travel around the country either, because it has a large road network that can easily be navigated alone or with a guide.
If you’re concerned about the environment, then you’ll want to travel sustainably. All of the destinations in this article champion conservation projects, green travel, and sustainable living. If you care about sustainability, then supporting these countries by visiting them is something you should consider doing if you are keen to travel abroad.