#TRAVEL
5 Travel Destinations To Inspire A Sustainable Lifestyle

Because travelling green is the new black.

By Sean Yee      22 April 2021

Travel enthusiasts can finally rejoice at the prospect of leisure travel once more. As Singapore readies itself for the reopening of our borders, it’s time to take the luggage out of that dusty storeroom and start planning for your next big getaway. However, with climate change still a looming threat, we have taken the liberty (you’re welcome) to provide you a list of exciting and eco-friendly getaway spots you can put in your itinerary once their travel restrictions have been lifted.

Finland

One of the most forested countries in the world, 70% of Finland’s landscape is covered with forest. Boasting impeccable air quality and minimal carbon emissions, Finland’s clear skies and pristine countryside are a testament of its commitment to environment preservation. Travellers can safely indulge in Finland’s hospitality without fear of repercussion to the environment.

Fashion enthusiasts can look forward to a diverse catalogue of Finnish styles that pride themselves on their respect for nature. Drop by innovative clothing enterprises such as Arela, which utilises natural cashmere knitwear and cotton in their designs. Or, Globe Hope which has an extensive collection of clothes made from recycled and excess materials.

Just be sure to take the Sustainable Finland Pledge (which can be found here) before visiting!

Be Inspired By…

Helsinki – Finland’s Capital Of Style

From mixology bars to farm-to-table food and “upcycled” fashion, the vagabrothers show you what makes Helsinki so hip. Follow the pair as they discover local brands such as Costo, which boasts an impressive catalogue of fashion accessories made from recycled and natural materials.


Costa Rica

While the country is mostly known for its soccer prowess, one would be remiss not to explore Costa Rica’s stunning beaches and flourishing verdant forests. What better way to escape the mundane of the everyday grind than to fulfil Costa Rica’s national motto Pura Vida!, which aptly translates to “Live Life or Enjoy Life!”

Interesting fact – Costa Rita prides itself on the preservation of its biodiversity, with 5% of the world’s wildlife population calling the place home. You can expect to find an exotically primal experience here as you explore its rich wildlife community, starting from Mistico Park where you can enjoy guided bird watching tours through hanging bridges. Thrill seekers can opt for their night walks instead and get to know Costa Rica’s nocturnal inhabitants.

Travellers seeking a more luxurious offering can consider Tabacon Resort’s thermal natural springs. The recipient of the “Leading Green Hotel” award in Mexico and Central America, the resort’s springs are fed with rainwater that is heated up by magma hidden in the Earth’s fissures. This is absolutely a must visit in any bucket list.

Be Inspired By…

Travel To – Costa Rica

This short yet cinematic tour beautifully encapsulates the experience that awaits you in Costa Rica. From the abundance of exotic wildlife to secluded sandy sanctuaries and surf-worthy waves, one thing is for sure – Costa Rica is a unique adventure of its own.


Korea

Korea has been reputably defined by its rich cultural heritage and scenic landscape. However, its recent dedication to combat climate change does warrant another visit to this wondrous paradise as it seeks to revolutionise its approach to taking care of the environment.

The prevalence of e-scooters in Korea (above right) allows travellers to explore their itinerary at their own pace without the need for harmful polluting emissions from typical forms of transport.

Pay a visit to Seoraksan National Park and bear witness to the magnificence of environmental preservation. In fact, this national park has been a UNESCO Biosphere Protection site since 1965. Decked with a rich myriad of flora and fauna, the National Park boasts Korea’s most beautiful mountains. Relish in Korea’s natural beauty as you make your way up the mountains or take pictures of Seoraksan’s captivating view in the comfort of a cable car.

Conclude your trip with a visit to Pureun Arboretum and seek educational insights about our environment though their eco-friendly programmes.

Be Inspired By…

Seoraksan National Park: Hiking in South Korea

This is a must watch for both aspiring and veteran hikers looking to have a go at the mountains in Seoraksan National Park. Join Jack and Colton as they trek up one of Korea’s most rugged peaks and encounter Korean hospitality at the same time, when friendly local trekkers share food and chat with the travellers.


Bhutan

Bhutan takes your happiness very seriously. In fact, they abide by the principle of Gross National Happiness (GNH), seeking to provide you the best travel experience you can ever imagine. Nestled between India and Tibet, Bhutan’s seclusion from the tumult of the metropolis radiates a refreshing sense of serenity. Eighty per cent of Bhutan is covered in woodlands and towering mountains, making it a haven for adventure seekers.

Participate in locally organised eco-friendly expeditions, where experienced guides lead you to historical cultural sites such as the Paro Valley and the Tiger’s Nest Monastery (above). These journeys also provide an insight into the country’s cohesive work with nature in order to preserve the island’s environmental purity.

There are also a multitude of trekking routes to choose from. For casual hikers looking for a relaxed and slow-paced trek, opt for the Nabji Korphu Trek which introduces you to the simplistic joys of rural life as you stroll past rice paddies and natural waterfalls. Seasoned hikers can opt for the Laya-Gasa Trek to navigate high altitudes and mountain passes to reach Bhutan’s most pristine landscapes. Regardless of your inclinations, the treks unveil the island’s unique biodiversity, with opportunities to spot aboriginal species such as blue sheep and Bhutan’s national animal, the takin.

It’s also worth noting that the tiny Himalayan kingdom has vaccinated nearly 93 per cent of its adult population against Covid-19 as of April 2021. Overall, the country has vaccinated 62 per cent of its 800,000 population since the end of March. An impressive feat indeed!

Be Inspired By…

We Lived With A Local Family In Bhutan

Mostly disconnected from the outside world, Bhutan may be an enigma to the average traveller. Travel vloggers Kara and Nate provide a rare insight into Bhutan’s rural simplicity as they document their interaction with a native family and their way of life. You will also get a glimpse at Bhutan’s inherent self-sustainability and symbiotic relationship with nature.


Denmark

What better way to end off our list with what is arguably the cleanest and greenest country in the world – Denmark.

Admired for its staunch dedication to climate preservation, Denmark has spearheaded multiple eco-movements that strive to supply its citizens with a source of clean air and renewable energy.

To learn more, traverse back in time by visiting the Open-Air Museum in Lyngby, located 15km north of Copenhagen. Here at this “living museum”, visitors can stroll through the rural countryside dotted with authentic farmhouses and agricultural constructs, while reliving the harmonious relationship between nature and man.

For those looking to learn from the Danes, the House of Green in Copenhagen hosts intercultural dialogues that discuss the movement towards global sustainability. Visitors can also explore the intricacies of climate change through the interactive exhibitions held here.

Denmark also boasts more than 140 eco-friendly hotels, with many having been awarded the Green Key, an eco-accolade that requires hotels to fulfil rigorous environmental considerations.

Be Inspired By…

The Sustainable City of the Future: Copenhagen, Denmark

Have you ever wondered how Denmark maintains its eco-friendly status? This insightful video discusses the Danes’ path towards carbon neutrality in 2025 and how they plan to achieve such a feat. With a focus on social mobility, pollution elimination and energy preservation, learn why Denmark is the leading eco expert.

 

Share your top green destinations with us at magnsman@sph.com.sg!

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