How about the greenest country in the world for an Eco-Friendly vacation?
If your answer is yes, here’s the country for you.
Iceland – the number (1) greenest country in the world. Out of 163 countries, Iceland received an Environmental Performance Index (EPI) of 93.5. EPI s a method of measuring the performance of national governments related to environmental policies. Yale University and Columbia University release the EPI every year during the World Economic Forum, ranking 163 countries according to 25 indicators. The final mark shows how close the country is to accomplish the environmental goals.
Each time you take a flight or drive a car, CO2 is released into the atmosphere. You can help neutralize the damage by purchasing “carbon offsets,” from Carbonfund.org (www.carbonfund.org) and TerraPass (www.terrapass.org) in the U.S., and from Climate Care (www.climatecare.org) in the U.K. Iceland has its own reputable Iceland Carbon Fund (Kolviður%3B www.kolvidur.is) the website helps calculate your damages and choose a tree-planting project or other remedy.
No Fossil Fuel Consumed
Once in Iceland you can base your activities on hiking, biking, horseback riding, or other activities that do not consume fossil fuels. Several Icelandic companies have earned certification from Blue Flag (www.blueflag.org), a Danish organization that certifies beaches, marinas, whale-watching tours, and other businesses for sustainable oceanside development.
Nordic Swan, located in Stockholm ; www.svanen.nu/eng), certifies accommodations for adhering to strict environmental practices. The only certified Icelandic accommodations are the Reykjavík City Hostel and Eldhestar.
Green Globe Certification Awards
Green Globe greenglobe21 is another important eco-certification label. Icelandic recipients include Íshestar, a horseback riding tour company; Whale Watching Reykjavík; and every community on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. The only Icelandic accommodations to receive full Green Globe certifications are Hotel Hellnar on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, and the Country Hotel Anna in south Iceland.
The village of Suðureyri in the Westfjords has set an intriguing precedent by basing their entire economy on environmentally sustainable principles. Visitors can participate in local fishing life.
The Association of Independent Tour Operators AITOI s a group of specialist operators leading the field in making holidays sustainable; plenty of Icelandic tour operators are listed.
Environmental issues often come up in conversation with Icelanders, so you may want to read up on the hot-button topics. Iceland has resumed whaling and the subject often provokes emotional responses. For information about the ethics of whaling, visit the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (www.wdcs.org). The most heated political debate in Iceland’s recent past concerned Karahnjukar, a dam built in the eastern highlands to provide power for an aluminum smelter in the Eastfjords.
The website savingisland.org has a pronounced radical slant but contains links to informative articles on environmental issues facing Iceland.
For details about whale watching in Iceland, visit: The Icelandic Whale Watching Association’s website icewahale.
Excerpted from: FrommersDestinations/Iceland
Peak tourist season: Mid-June through August
Other times: With lower airfares, car rentals, and accommodations – spring, fall, and winter. Especially, during Christmas, since Icelanders are ardent Christmas celebrators with the backdrop of the Aurora Borealis.
Getting to Iceland – by plane.
Virtually all international arrivals come through Keflavík International Airport (KEF), about 50km (31 miles) from Reykjavík. Flight times are 3 hours from London or 5 hours from Boston.
Icelandair (tel. 800/223-5500 U.S. and Canada; 0870/787-4020 in London; 0207/387-5711 in Glasgow; www.icelandair.com) flies to Keflavík from Boston, New York, Minneapolis, Orlando, Toronto, Halifax (Nova Scotia), London, Manchester, Glasgow, and several other European cities.
Looking for some help in planning an Icelandic itinerary? Here are some guides to give you direction in your Icelandic green adventure.
MyNatour provides suggestions to enjoy all as Iceland one of the most sustainable tourist spots on the planet.
Visit mynatour’s Iceland: A truly sustainable destination for some great suggestions.
Green Energy Travel – Iceland is an Eco-Friendly tour operator offering a variety of tours of varying lengths to visit the wonders of Iceland.
Visit GreenEnergyTravelIceland for details on their tour offerings.
gadventure is a leader in sustainable adventure travel; G Adventures is dedicated to offering low-impact tours that beneﬁt traveller and host alike
Visit gadventuresIceland if you’d like a planned tour that offers low-impact tours.
HAVE A GREAT TRIP
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