The rest of the world, and especially the US and China need to step up their game. As far as environmental protection is concerned, countries in the north of Europe seem to be the only ones taking the issues seriously. I would like to dedicate this piece to the most eco-friendly country in the world: Switzerland.
Fighting for Number 1
Switzerland is always at the top with other eco-friendly countries. It regularly tries to beat Luxembourg and Denmark for the title. It is no small feat, as Luxembourg maintains its position despite its growing population and Denmark is still the best in water treatment. The point is that even when Switzerland is not the best, it is not far behind.
Switzerland isn’t stopping any time soon. In fact, they plan on fulfilling OneEarth’s goal of reaching sustainability by 2050. This means switching completely to renewable energy and having a negative carbon footprint, as well as working on restoring the earth’s lands.
Reducing waste and recycling are top priorities for the Swiss. Over 50% of all waste is recycled. Retailers don’t use unnecessary packaging and their shopping bags are reusable. It is safe to say that Switzerland does not share the trouble with e-waste, like that from batteries and computer components, with the rest of the world.
People pay to get their garbage taken away. You may think that you can still throw your garbage away and get away with it. The thing is that the authorities can usually trace the trash to a household and fine people for not disposing of the trash properly. Recycling is done for free.
The country does not rely on fossil fuels. Nor does it put all eggs in one basket power-wise. Solar and geothermal energy is harnessed, along with wind power. However, the bulk of its power production comes from hydropower.
Many popular tourist destinations start off as a few getaway cabins. There are more and more and pretty soon a lone cabin on the side of a mountain is a ski resort. The infrastructure messes with the local wildlife.
To prevent this from happening, while allowing people comfortable lodgings in nature, the Swiss have come up with an idea. Dome tents, or pods, are built in a way that doesn’t interfere with the local wildlife. There are even entire igloo villages where the lodgings are made of ice, like igloos.
Promoting and Protecting
People get fined for purposely avoiding environmental policies and laws. However, they are often rewarded for going above and beyond what’s asked of them. It is not uncommon for hotels and resorts to offer discounts to patrons that drive hybrid cars, for example.
While some countries are trying to implement carpooling as a way to reduce the carbon footprint, the Swiss have gone the extra mile. Most people ride on the trains, but the car rental packages for people that want to go to specific places are more than fair.