We live in a world overflowing with beautiful people and beautiful places. Keeping it that way, is something that should be at the forefront of everybody’s minds. As digital nomads, it’s always a good idea to check out the countries that excel at the preservation of their unique landscape and culture, so here are our top picks of eco-friendly countries we’d love to go and see!
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 prioritie at hand 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). And as one of the wealthiest industrialized countries, they’re always striving to be better, even hoping to be 50% MORE environmentally friendly by 2030.
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 streamlines 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 because they care about their green regions. Oh, and I guess the 361% increase in patents for inventions related to renewable energies between 2004 and 2015 might have something to do with it.
Portugal is one of the countries that not many are truly aware of their eco-friendly customs and initiatives, but there is a lot to be said for a country this small. They have achieved a significant reduction in the greenhouse emissions, with one of their most famous regions (Azores) being names he most sustainable destination in Europe in 2014. There has been a big influx in rural retreats as well, putting in the effort to provide a unique experience, catering to both the guests and mother nature.
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. I’d say it’s partly because half of the territory is covered in forest, so anything built and grown is naturally organic; plus the people of Estonia truly believe it’s ‘the key to ensuring the health and wellbeing of generations to come.’
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. Secret gardens and natural pools located throughout the island make for a cherry on top of an eco-friendly getaway.
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 center 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). I think the most impressive eco-friendly aspect of France are their street urinals; they make it look like you’re just peeing in a bush while also keeping the streets clean at the same time!
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 balances 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. The island is practically all electric and power operated by renewable sources of solar, hydroelectric and wind. They even said bye bye to diesel generators in 2008, thanks to Eigg Electric LTD.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jessica is a freelance copywriter and OG member of WiFi Tribe. While she is based in Los Angeles, she has been traveling throughout Latin America for over a year, with plans to tackle SE Asia this coming fall after some US explorations set for summer 2k18. She is the principle blogger for WiFi Tribe, but also writes for a few ecommerce companies and non profit organisations based in the US. Aside from work, Jessica has awesome hair (obvi) and is a future NY Times Bestselling Author... as soon as she finishes writing her first novel (it'll be worth the wait, I promise). You can keep up with her via her Instagram if you want to see some cool pix and funny memes :)