By Caroline King
It seems now more than ever, the topic of climate change has been at the forefront of discussions. Individuals, communities, and nations as a whole have put forth programs and initiatives to try and combat the effects of carbon emissions and help eliminate our global carbon footprint.
More and more, travelers are choosing to visit destinations and stay at properties that play a role in mitigating the world’s carbon footprint. Below are cities around the world that have taken steps towards becoming more sustainable, along with ways travelers can contribute to sustainable tourism initiatives.
Iceland’s capital relies entirely on geothermal and hydropower resources for heat, electricity, and even its public buses! Photo by mattparry68.
Known for being one of the most bike-friendly cities in the US, Portland has more than 90,000 acres of green space for hiking and has several programs in place to combat CO2 emissions. Photo courtesy of zen1a.
The British Columbian city is not only surrounded by mountains and ocean — making it a desirable destination for any nature lover — but Vancouver also uses hydroelectric power to eliminate its fossil-fuel use. Photo taken by instagramvancouver.
Bahía de Caráquez, Ecuador
Bahía de Caráquez has developed several programs to protect its biodiversity since being named an “Ecological City” in 1999 and has become a popular destination for eco-tourism. Photo by jeffremiguel.
With a great emphasis on solar energy and alternative forms of commuting, Barcelona has taken significant strides in becoming one of Europe’s most eco-friendly cities. Photo by ravifotografix.
In the past, Uganda’s capital has faced a multitude of issues surrounding pollution, but more recently Kampala has developed several strategies to thrive in a sustainable manner. The city has put laws into place to make businesses more reliant on locally grown food and has also developed a safer more efficient public transportation system. Photo taken by badstyleugandan.
Home to Austin Energy, a major supplier of electric power, Austin also relies heavily on solar power and boasts lush green spaces for bikers and hikers alike. Photo courtesy of krissatx.
With the creation of Green Square, an expansive district focused on sustainability and green living, Sydney is setting the standard for metropolises worldwide. Photo by valldios.
With a huge portion of its citizens relying on public transport, Curitiba’s bus system is also known as being one of the best in the world, making it an ideal example of how cities around the globe can become more green by strengthening its public transportation systems. Photo taken by dayana_s.
Instead of just visiting eco-friendly cities, travelers can take it a step further by staying at ecolodges and hostels or even opting for a farm stay to play a positive part in sustainable tourism.
With a strong focus on conservation and sustainability, Campi Ya Kanzi located in Mtito Andei, Kenya, is a great place to stay if you’re looking to go on a safari. Photo taken by campiyakanzi.
Located in Switzerland, Whitepod Eco-Luxury Hotel offers a variety of interesting ways to take in the beauty of the Swiss Alps while helping reduce waste and energy. Photo by lucianlipovan.
_incantato_ shows us the interior of the pods.
Rest easy on the CO2 neutral boat that is Ecohostel Andromeda in Gent, Belgium, which supports green living by providing guests with an organic fair-trade breakfast and by purifying its water through an innovative water catch system on the roof of the boat — just a few of the ecohostel’s many cool sustainable initiatives. Photo by iamryannn.
World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms, also known as WWOOFing, is a global work exchange program where travelers stay on organic farms and volunteer their time helping with daily chores associated with upkeep of the farm. Not only is it an alternative way to see the world, but you’re also contributing to the growth of small organic farms. rastafarhigh shows us a WWOOFer working happily in a field.
About the Writer
Caroline King is a writer based in Buffalo, NY and is always looking for her next adventure. She enjoys traveling the world and writing about her life experiences. She loves pursuing the web for inspirational and meaningful content, but often finds herself getting distracted by watching compilations of people falling on YouTube and planning dream trips on travel sites. When she’s not writing or cruising the internet, she enjoys taking bike rides, reading, watching hockey, theatre, trying new food, and having good times with good people. Check out more of her writings on her blog, http://kingsreflections.wordpress.com