Every space and place has its impact on the planet, and tourist destinations, the places which are visited by millions of people everyday for their appeal and beauty, have their fair share of positive and negative outcomes on our environment.
A report from The World Count reveals that 5% of total greenhouse gas emissions are caused due to tourism. Moreover, huge amounts of waste left out by visitors at different tourist locations pose serious threats to the surrounding wildlife and vegetation. Fortunately, there are still some tourist hotspots where effective measures are being taken to protect natural resources, reduce CO2 emissions, and promote sustainability through implementation of innovative eco-friendly tourism models.
So next time, before you pack your bags to leave for some exciting sightseeing, check these top 10 most eco-friendly tourist attractions of the world that are not only beautiful reminders of our history and culture, but also making efforts towards reducing harmful emissions on the planet.
1. Disney World Kingdom – Florida
An incredible tourist location and one of the most entertaining tourist places on earth, Disney World Kingdom is also inspiring in terms of its energy conservation and water management practices. You would be astonished by the 170,000 LED lights which lit the entire Cinderella house at the cost of energy required for only 4 coffee pots.
Apart from this, the kingdom recycles tons of waste and manages a 22 acre Mickey Mouse face shaped solar power plant within its premises. For all these amazing efforts towards achieving sustainability, USwitch has ranked Disney World Kingdom as world’s number one eco-friendly tourist attraction.
2. Sydney Opera House – Sydney
The Green Building Council of Australia has awarded Sydney Opera House 4 green stars for its various eco-friendly initiatives. This architectural marvel hosts more than 1500 performances annually but more importantly, it has reduced its electric power usage by around 75% through its energy saving and seawater cooling systems.
3. Niagara Falls – New York
Attracting tourists for its natural beauty and eco-friendly activities, Niagara Falls is one of the best locations for ecotourism. With its electric ferry rides and waste management initiatives, you may find yourself lost in the serene environment and wildlife that thrives in and around the Niagara region.
4. Disneyland Resort – Hong Kong
If you are really crazy about recycling stuff and you are in Hong Kong, then you can’t miss the Disneyland Resort. It’s one of the best eco-friendly places that operates and supports multiple environment friendly initiatives such as food waste recycling, green waste recycling, Inspiration lake for rainwater conservation and many more.
This spellbinding tourist site has an average footfall of 6 million visitors each year, but despite such responsibility, the management here has shown exceptional commitment towards environmental sustainability. With 4,500 rooftop installed solar panels, this green resort is not only able to meet all its energy requirements but it’s also Hong Kong’s largest solar panel site. It has a district centralized water cooled air conditioning system, which recycles waste water for toilet flushing and in the bathrooms, here you will not find ordinary but water saving shower heads that saves 20% water on single use.
To acknowledge yourself more on this place’s zero waste activities and other exciting do’s and don’ts, you can check our exclusive guide to Disneyland Hong Kong.
5. Natural History Museum – London
World’s best place for understanding the natural world through history and its remains, the Natural History Museum is a very important tourist location and is home to around 80 million specimens.
It is also considered as a sustainable museum and the authorities here have pledged to set a science based carbon reduction target. Until now, more than 190 tons of construction waste has been recycled and the trigeneration energy system of the museum has prevented 15,000 tons of CO2 emissions.
6. Eiffel Tower – Paris
Equipped with solar thermal panels, LED lights and wind turbines, Eiffel Tower is now a green eco-friendly monument that generates 10,000 kWh of electric power in a year. After a series of innovations and developments, authorities have successfully reduced the carbon footprint of this global heritage and now Eiffel Tower stands firmly as a world class example of sustainability for other monuments and historical buildings across the globe.
7. Disney Land – Paris
Another entry from Disney in the list, the Disneyland in Paris is a single use plastic free tourist place. Also, It has a geothermal facility which uses natural underground heat for generating energy and serves as a renewable power source for the theme park.
Other practices related to waste management and greenhouse reduction have helped this french Disneyland in reducing its carbon footprint by approximately 13-14%.
8. Universal Studios – Orlando
Recycling is a trend that is sincerely followed at the Universal Studios, Orlando. Recycled paper made articles are used here for all the paper, cardboard and related needs. Apart from this, the restaurants within the studio premises even recycle the oil, which has already been used for cooking. Also, instead of traditional pollution causing fuel, clean fuel alternatives are used in vehicles to reduce carbon emission.
9. Universal Studios – Hollywood, LA
In 2007, Universal Studios launched the Green is Universal initiative to focus and achieve various sustainability goals. Since then, the Hollywood-based studio has adopted renewable energy sources, recycling measures and solid waste management strategies to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and raise awareness on environment conservation.
10. Efteling Theme Park – Netherlands
Purchasing household waste water and then reusing the same after purifying is one of the many green practices that Efteling theme park employs for its maintenance and other purposes. It has one of the best landscapes in the world, and the ecosystem within the park is enriched with different species of plant, birds, insects and animals.
Various eco-friendly measures have been undertaken by the park management to ensure the protection of its rich biodiversity and social values.
All images courtesy of Unsplash.