Going Green: Top Sustainable Travel Destinations and Ways to Travel Responsibly

brown wooden boat moving towards the mountain
Photo by Luca Bravo on Unsplash

The concept of sustainable travel has gained immense popularity in recent times, and for good reason. With global warming and climate change becoming increasingly pressing issues, it is crucial that we take steps to reduce our carbon footprint and protect the environment. Sustainable travel refers to traveling in a way that minimizes negative impact on the environment, while also benefiting local communities.


There are several destinations around the world that are leading the way when it comes to sustainable tourism. These destinations prioritize eco-friendliness, conservation efforts, and responsible tourism practices. Let’s take a look at some of the top sustainable travel destinations:

  1. Costa Rica
    Costa Rica is known for its stunning beaches, lush rainforests, and incredible biodiversity. It is also a leader in sustainable tourism practices. The country has set ambitious goals for itself when it comes to sustainability – by 2021, they aim to be carbon neutral and have 100% of their energy come from renewable sources.

Costa Rica has implemented several initiatives to encourage sustainable tourism practices. For example, they have established national parks and protected areas where visitors can experience nature without damaging it. They also promote eco-friendly accommodations such as ecolodges which use renewable energy sources like solar power or wind turbines.

  1. Norway
    Norway is renowned for its breathtaking natural beauty – fjords, mountainscapes and northern lights draw tourists from all over the world – but it’s also making strides towards sustainability with innovative solutions in transportation as well as implementation of low-impact activities like hiking or kayaking instead of motorized excursions.

One example of Norway’s commitment towards sustainability can be seen through their investment in electric transportation modes such as electric buses or ferries powered by renewable energy sources like hydroelectric power plants or wind turbines.

  1. Bhutan
    Bhutan may not be on everyone’s radar when considering a destination but this tiny Himalayan kingdom offers something truly unique: Gross National Happiness. The country has embraced the concept of measuring wellbeing alongside traditional economic metrics and is committed to being carbon neutral.

Bhutan’s tourism policy prioritizes sustainable practices by limiting the number of visitors to certain areas, promoting eco-tourism activities like trekking or bird watching, and encouraging visitors to respect local cultural traditions. Tourists are required to pay a daily fee which goes towards funding conservation efforts and community development projects.

  1. New Zealand
    New Zealand is a popular destination for adventure enthusiasts looking for outdoor thrills amidst incredible landscapes – from bungee jumping off bridges over rivers or hiking through rain forests – but it’s also making strides towards sustainability with its clean energy production and commitment towards reducing waste pollution.

The country has implemented several measures to promote sustainable tourism such as eco-certification schemes for accommodations, conservation efforts in national parks, and promotion of low-impact activities like cycling or kayaking instead of motorized excursions.

  1. Iceland
    Iceland’s unique geothermal landscape draws visitors from all over the world but it also presents an opportunity for using renewable energy sources such as geothermal power plants that help reduce carbon emissions while providing hot water heating systems for homes, businesses or greenhouses.

Icelandic tourism board has been proactive in promoting responsible travel practices by encouraging visitors to stick to designated trails so as not disturb natural habitats; reducing plastic usage; promoting public transportation options that use renewable energy sources like electric buses; and investing in ecotourism initiatives including glacier hikes with certified guides who prioritize safety over profit margins.

In addition to visiting these destinations that prioritize sustainability, there are several ways we can all travel responsibly:

  1. Choose eco-friendly accommodations
    When booking accommodation on your travels look out for properties certified by organizations like Green Globe or EarthCheck which have benchmarks on waste reduction policies, local sourcing initiatives etc. Also consider staying at homestays where you can interact with locals providing income opportunities while minimizing environmental impact.
  2. Reduce waste
    A significant amount of waste is generated from tourism – whether it’s disposable plastic bottles or food packaging. Bring your own reusable water bottle and shopping bag, avoid single-use plastics whenever possible, and dispose of your waste responsibly.
  3. Respect local culture
    When visiting a new country or culture, it’s important to be respectful of local customs and traditions. Learn about the local customs so that you can be mindful of them when interacting with locals.
  4. Choose low-impact activities
    Consider opting for eco-friendly tours like hiking or cycling instead of motorized excursions as these activities are less disruptive to the environment while also providing unique experiences.

In conclusion, sustainable travel is more than just a trend; it is an essential shift towards responsible tourism practices that prioritize environmental conservation and benefitting local communities. By choosing sustainable destinations and implementing responsible travel practices on our trips we can all play a part in ensuring that our planet remains healthy for future generations to enjoy.