Looking for a Vacation that is Both Eco-Friendly and Fun?
Bet you probably didn’t know this, but Costa Rica one of the top five most ecological countries in the world and is the only one of those top five countries which is outside of Northern Europe.
So, Costa Rica is THE place for a tropical climate, palm-lined beaches, rainforest AND environmental consciousness — unless of course, you like the idea of a vacation in land-locked Luxembourg or swimming in the freezing fjords of Norway!
This is the third year that Costa Rica has found itself high in the rankings of the Environmental Representation Index (ERI), compiled by the US Universities, Yale and Columbia; leaping up from a placing of 15th, back in 2006.
The 132 countries that are featured in the annual survey are rated on areas of environmental significance; such as fisheries, forests, air and water quality and biodiversity too.
Costa Rica’s success is due to a number of factors. Firstly, the country’s commitment to renewable energy sources. With much of the country’s electricity being produced from water sources, the output is very low levels of carbon dioxide production as opposed to those made from other traditional energy sources.
Secondly, a quarter of the country’s area is protected with National Park status to preserve its incredible biodiversity (4% of the global diversity) and the ERI ranked the Costa Rica’s forestry protection particularly highly.
Furthermore, the fact that almost every citizen in the country has access to drinking water was another important factor in the ranking. This is especially impressive when you consider that the United States ranked #49 on the list and the closest Latin American country (list-wise) is Columbia, at position #27.
When you are planning your Costa Rican vacation; look for hotels that have the Costa Rican Chamber of Tourism’s Sustainability Certificate and if you have the time, consider volunteering in one of the country’s many ecological projects. It is a win-win situation! A tropical vacation, surrounded by abundant fauna, flora, beaches, volcanoes and rainforests AND a chance to keep that carbon footprint to a minimum!
Costa Rica — Get out there and enjoy it!
Reporting by Sara Ford
• Freelance writer for Vamos Rent-A-Car