If your eye was caught by the title then you are most likely an environmentalist – a person who advocates or is concerned with the protection of the environment – or an individual who works in environmental and sustainability jobs.
A strong part of human nature is curiosity, leading to a need for adventure and discovery. With this comes the yearning for travel and connecting with new people and cultures.
Travel is also good for the economy, since tourism has a massive market, and depending on where you travel and for what reasons may lead to your traveling habits being beneficial for the environment/sustainability and for your soul.
With the mixture of our society progressing towards being environmentally conscious and trying to minimize our negative impact on nature overall and our yearning for traveling, responsible tourism was born. It also is a growing industry that is in high demand now.
The scenery and natural attributes in Iceland make this Nordic island nation look like an alien planet that happened to plop itself into the North Atlantic Ocean. This country is also often called the Land of Ice and Fire thanks to its mixture of volcanic and glacial terrains.
Norse Vikings were the first to settle on this island, with ongoing settlement to this day. The country’s capital is Reykjavik, located on the southwestern corner of the peninsula Reykjanes. Iceland has really low population density due to a lot of its locations being uninhabitable.
Reykjavik is officially one of the cleanest cities on Earth, thanks to the country’s location on the mid-Atlantic ridge. Their abundant stores of natural gases and glaciers allow for green sustainable energy, in other words, geothermal energy, to be used to heat homes, generate electricity, heat pools and even heat greenhouses they use for harvesting produce.
All the generating facilities and such also allow for many eco-friendly jobs to be available for Iceland’s inhabitants, making your touristic trip here all the more worth it.
Now to speak of the things to do here. You have many options all linked to nature one way or another. Popular activities include snorkeling in Silfra Fissure, where you are able to swim over submerged lava, between volcanic canyons and above all, view marine life through the crystal clear waters present thanks to glaciers.
Speaking of glaciers, you have the option of touring the glaciers while hiking as well, or if you wish for more extreme adventures, you can tour ice caves under volcanoes.
For serenity, there is always the option of visiting the Blue Lagoon, where you can bathe in naturally heated waters and appreciate the scenery.
If you crave adventure and a feeling of raw nature paired with ethical travel, Costa Rica is the place for you. It is a staple for ecotourism, a form of tourism where individuals take responsible actions to preserve the natural environment and sustain the local people they travel to, and it comes as no surprise either.
It is located in Central America, sharing borders with Nicaragua and Panama, and extending from the Pacific Ocean to the Caribbean Sea. Though it is quite tiny, it also holds five percent of all biodiversity on our planet, resulting in 26% of the country being conserved or protected territory.
Costa Rica has abundant wildlife and nature, with preserved rainforests adorned with large waterfalls and mighty rivers. On top of its rainforests, the country also allows for tons of adventures, beaches and bathing, wellness and the list goes on.
For ecotourism, you have the option of visiting some of the 29 national parks, 19 wildlife refuges, 8 biological reserves, and many other protected areas you can have the pleasure of visiting.
For activities regarding eco-tourism, you can go on tours for horseback riding, hiking, bird watching through guided tours, visiting natural and heritage sites, as well as aerial trams. The country’s tours have an emphasis on being educational and breathtaking.
Another fun option in Costa Rica is rural tourism, where you are able to respect, support, and discover the cultures present in the country since its beginnings. In other words, you get to experience the essential identity of Costa Ricans, which is characterized by hospitality, peace, comfort, and communal living.
The country of New Zealand is home to a wonderful mix of cultures: Māori, European, Pacific Island and Asian. It isn’t solely the rich blend of cultures that makes this country unique though, but also its colorful and diverse flora and fauna.
New Zealand is home to glaciers, alien-like fiords, mountainous scenery, vast plains, beautiful hillsides, subtropical forests ready to be discovered, volcanic plateaus, and lastly a gorgeous coastline with beaches to take advantage of. It comes as no surprise various movies were shot in New Zealand.
The country thanks to its geological area has a lot of subterranean activity, which is why New Zealand had green gases as energy and heating sources, and hot springs.
Ecotourism in New Zealand caters to the tourists, but it also finds balance in focusing on conservation and sustainability. A great example of their efforts is volunteer work anyone can do while there.
Activities you can do include fauna watching, for example watching for birds. The most iconic and officially the national bird of New Zealand, the kiwi bird, is sadly endangered but is provided with ‘kiwi houses’ at zoos and wildlife parks as an effort to preserve the species. They may look small, cute and fluffy, but they also are highly territorial.
The attractions one can see and activities one can do are truly endless in New Zealand since its geological attributes are so varied. For ecotourism alone, there are 775 different items listed on the country’s website for tourism.
Denmark is dubbed one of the greenest countries to exist. It has high petrol and car taxes, promoting cyclists and pedestrians to use the well-built roads most Danish cities have. Because of its location in northern Europe and its large coastlines, Denmark is able to use its winds for clean energy through wind turbines.
If you travel to Denmark, you will be met with the term hygge, translating to coziness, but it is much more than that. Hygge (pronounced hoo-gah) is just the overall peaceful cozy feeling of scenes within your life, like candlelight or talking with friends and family. This might explain why Danes are some of the happiest people on the planet.
Overall activities include visiting funky hotels (like a crane hotel), discovering the culture, history and gastronomy of Denmark, or camping and visiting wildlife parks like the Scandinavisk Dyrpark near Aarhus. If you crave being surrounded by nature but dislike camping, you may want to try visiting Løvtag Tree Top Cabins in North Jutland.
There are tens of other countries that are worth visiting if you want to be an ethical tourist, so it is worth your time researching and planning a memorable trip to discover nature and other cultures.
- Where is Iceland? (n.d.). Arctic Adventures. https://adventures.is/information/where-is-iceland/
- Visit Costa Rica | Costa Rica Tourism Official website. (n.d.). Visit Costa Rica. https://www.visitcostarica.com/en
- New Zealand Tourism Guide. (n.d.). Https://Www.Tourism.Net.Nz. https://www.tourism.net.nz
- New Zealand geography & geology | Rotorua, New Zealand. (n.d.). Https://Www.Newzealand.Com/Int/Feature/New-Zealand-Geography-and-Geology/. https://www.newzealand.com/int/feature/new-zealand-geography-and-geology/
- 13 unusual places to stay in Denmark. (n.d.). VisitDenmark. https://www.visitdenmark.com/denmark/accommodation/unusual-places-stay
- All the things you really should try when you’re here. (n.d.). VisitDenmark. https://www.visitdenmark.com/denmark/things-to-do
- U. (n.d.). Beautiful Free Images & Pictures. Unsplash. https://unsplash.com