We started the year with always growing concerns about the health of our planet, and we wonder which new destructions we will witness in the following months.
So travel around, because it’s a need we will never be able to give up, but in the most responsible way. If you have to flight, try to balance your CO2 impact by investing some donations in planting new trees, if you can avoid to fly… do it! Trains, for example, are an amazing and poetic way of moving around. With one or two stops, you can arrive even pretty far! We list place all over the world, since our reader spread amazingly around the globe, but maybe you don’t need to travel to the other end of the planet to find a sustainable oasis! Enjoy a fresh start.
2016’s Green Capital Ljubjana is Slovenia’s gem. The European Commission recognised the incredible work done in the city to make it a green centre, literally. Its parks and turquoise river as well as green characteristic dragons welcome every visitor to relax and enjoy its smog- and stress-free areas, whose centre and river banks’ are reserved to pedestrians, bicycles (230km of cycling routes!!), buses and electric taxis. For this small city historically characterised from intensive traffic, the Slovenian administration focused on public transport and pedestrian and cycling networks, which are making the city one of the most pleasant realities in Europa, showing how change can be achieved in a small amount of time, and how the positive example of bigger cities as Copenhagen, Stockholm or Hamburg is reaching different realities. The city also committed itself to pursuing a zero waste objective in the next year! What best then a good holiday supporting this growing urban sustainability and learning something to bring back home? Enjoy!
This leading country in eco-friendly policies and development should definitely be on your bucket list of your next destinations. Visiting Uruguay means understanding how a small country of the Global South, far from the industrial and capitalistic wellness of North America, Europe, etc. can make its own path growing away from a past of colonisations of different kinds and build a sustainable future to last. It may sound incredible but nearly 95% of Uruguay’s electricity comes from renewable energy. The country does not import energy, and it uses hydroelectric facilities and wind parks for its supply. This happy story sounds almost too good to be true, and we believe that this amazing effort deserves recognition, with the development of a sustainable and conscious tourism, that wants to preserve this achievement and be inspired by it… which in the end is the best part of travelling!
Tanzania’s small western gem is the first marine protected area in the world. Chumbe Island hosts also a rare wildlife forest and an award winning ecolodge. Located just off the cost of Zanzibar, is often forgotten near its biggest and beautiful sister. Chumbe is a small sustainable experience, those possible only in such protected and isolated environment, away of stress, cities and noise. The Chumbe Island Coral Park was first privately founded by Sibylle Riedmiller, a conservationist, and development professional who saw in Chumbe Island the chance for a development project through sustainable tourism. The marine park became a place where visitors can learn about natural resources and enjoy natural activities, natural beauty and a sense of freedom and privacy, and while doing so founding the conservation of corals and the education of local schoolchildren and fishermen at the same time. Read more about their facilities, that can host a maximum of 14 guests and ethical employment guideline for locals here.
Portugal has been Europe Re-discovery of the decade. Travelling through its nature and cities, you’ll feel authenticity, beauty, and a respect for the land and its rules that many other European countries have lost with time. You can feel the magic of seeing and eating what your great-grandparents would have seen and eat and your grandchildren will.
If you’re interested in a whole nature experience, Portugal’s major national park is Peneda-Gerês, in the Minho district, north of the city of Braga, close to the Spanish border. The country has many other specially protected areas, which are nature reserves. Most of these are in the mountainous regions, including Montesinho, near Bragança; Alvão, near Vile Real Amarante; and Serra dos Candeeiros, near Fátima.
The cost of the Algarve will leave you breathless, nothing more sustainable than riding the one-line train through the region, starting with a great walk and meal in Faro and enjoying one of the stops at every small city, having dinner in Lagos.
If cities are what you’re looking for, Lisbon and Porto won’t disappoint you. Find out local gastronomy, traditional music and the magic breeze that blow through their historic streets.
Defined as the ecological wonder of the eastern himalayas, this small Kingdom hosts 10 protected areas and has 72 percent of its land still under forest, as well as a great variety of rare plant and wildlife species.Considered a model for sustainable tourism development, Bhutan has a long-term strategy of controlling tourism and ensuring that its impact doesn’t do any arm to local environment and population. Visitors are requested to book through recognised sustainable operators and thanks to the country’s effort, tourist respect and enjoy local culture and traditions, contributing to the conservation of the natural and cultural heritage and improving the well being of the citizens within the overall concept of Gross National Happiness (GNH) with its four main pillars: sustainable and equitable socio-economic development, conservation of environment, preservation and promotion of culture, promotion of good governance.
In 1974 Bhutan’s former King, Jigme Singye Wangchuck, launched a modernisation and development plan seeing in tourism a great danger and a greater opportunity: the country adapted since then the general winning policy of “high-value, small-volume” for international tourism, a move that annually helps Bhutan’s economy, employment’s rate and as well the guarantee of an unique and authentic experience when visiting the country.
Last but not least, one of the top destination in the world showing global leadership in combatting climate change and environmental degradation. Located in the western Pacific Ocean, the Republic of Palau is a group of islands that is as beautiful as it is various. Visitors from all over the world come to these corner of paradise to enjoy its coral atolls, small limestone islands, magical underwater worlds and definitely play a big role for the economy of this small nation. Heavy tourism can be disruptive in such a fragile environment, so the country of Palau has now introduced for every visitor a stamped pledge upon arrival in there passport in the form of a poem that reads:
As simple as it is deep and full of meaning, this “sustainability” pledge gives a worldwide example of governmental effort to protect its citizen and land. Together with the poem, visitors now also must watch a video that aims to educate them to be environmentally responsible when visiting the country.
+ Words: Cecilia Gaeta_Luxiders Editor
Raised in the chaotic centre of Rome, Cecilia is now a passionate photography student at the Ostkreuzschule of Berlin. After graduating at the Humboldt University in Asian and African Area Studies with a focus on women migrations, she now wants to report about global issues with attention on social and gender equality through words and photographs.
Connect with her on Instagram: Cecilia