What cities are on your travel bucket list for 2021? When we think of travel, we think of climbing hills to watch the sunrise, cocktail by the pool, the smell of sea air, ancient ruins or perhaps the biggest buffets you could imagine. However, travel is also a lot more than that. It is wonderful for the mind. If you crave nothing more than standing in the crowd listening to the loudest electric guitars pounding in your chest, then you are not alone! Or if you crave going to a baseball game with a hotdog dripping in mustard, then you are not alone. After all, going to see sports shows is also what travelling is about! Things get hot for Buffalo Bills fans so there are definitely lots of reasons to get excited about sport this year! Let’s hope that we don’t have to wait too long before we can travel again for these exciting pleasures. But what if travel is going to take on a newer complexion? Sustainability is the future, therefore we must see what countries and cities are doing it best this year.
So what if we started the year 2021 by doing good? To take care of yourself, what better idea than to escape to a green city that makes efforts to preserve the environment? Here are 5 cities with remarkable behavior to preserve nature and which in addition have a lot of charm. They are worth adding to your travel bucket list for 2021.
Cities On The Travel Bucket List For 2021
1. San Francisco – The First Zero Waste City
In 2021, San Francisco wants to turn a corner and become the first city to stop producing waste. The city currently recycles 80% of its waste thanks to its three bins, the blue for recycling, the green for compost and the black for the intractable. But in 2021, San Francisco hopes to recycle 100% of its waste with measures to prevent the use of non-recyclable waste. Those who use the wrong bins will notably receive a fine! And the tourist attractions of San Francisco are also numerous: the Golden Gate Bridge, Muir Woods, the well-known Alcatraz prison, and AT&T Park.
2. Reykjavik: An Icelandic Capital that Runs 100% on Green Energy
Reykjavik runs entirely on green energy. Indeed, Iceland’s geology makes it possible to develop inexpensive green renewable energy from its natural resources. Thus all public transport is equipped with a hydrogen engine, a low-polluting fuel. And the city has created many green spaces including parks and botanical gardens. The capital is not stopping there; in 2040, its ambition is carbon neutrality. On the tourist side, the Harpa concert hall has impressive architecture and the Aurora Museum on the northern lights is a must.
3. Vancouver Wants to Become the Greenest City in the World!
Vancouver is a city active in preserving the environment and even wants to become the greenest city in the world. It has developed green public transport: electric buses, self-service bicycles, 275 kilometers of cycle paths, 200 electric terminals installed for cars, etc.. Many gardens and urban forests are emerging in the heart of the city. To promote the green economy, the city is reducing the import of food by boats or trucks in favor of local production. Thanks to this initiative, Vancouverites consume + 36% of local food products. It is even in this city that the 100 Mile Diet was born, the benchmark of the locavore movement.
As a tourist, you must see Gastown, the historic district of Vancouver and Yaletown. This trendy district has many renovated warehouses that house shops and restaurants.
4. Ljubljana – The European Green Capital
It was in 2016 that Ljubljana was elected the European Green Capital thanks to its waste management policy. The Slovenian capital is continuing its efforts in this direction. By 2025, it wants to reduce the amount of residual waste to 60 kg per year and per inhabitant. The city is also counting on the end of vehicles powered by fossil fuels. By 2020, the goal is to install 1,400 charging stations to develop the use of electric cars. The capital is also working on the greening of the urban space, so it is impossible to walk in the city without going to a park.
5. Hoi An Encourages Its Residents to Sort Their Waste and Reduce Their Plastic Consumption
In Vietnam, Hoi An, the ancient city listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, wants to reduce the use of single-use plastic products and encourage residents to sort their waste. Indeed, the city promotes the production of environmentally friendly products and strengthens the education of students on environmental issues. By the end of 2020, all households and local businesses were required to sort waste. By the end of 2021, local stores, markets, and supermarkets are expected to stop using single-use plastics.
When traveling to this cities, it’s important to be a responsible tourist.
Be A Responsible Tourist
This means to travel with awareness and respect in an attempt to positively influence the cultural, sociological, and ecological state of the country that welcomes us. These are small things we can all do on trips and help maintain a fair and balanced system.
The first rule seems obvious, but it is not. There are many tourists who travel to Thailand, for example, to attend a Full Moon party. But there are few who only engage in this type of activity without worrying about knowing at least the rich history, values, and culture of a country like Thailand. Knowing about a destination helps to avoid unpleasant situations and understand a little why it happens, but above all it offers us the option to travel before the trip. And to be, culturally, richer.
Positive Impact: Environment
Keep in mind that water, a normal tier nowadays, is a luxury in many countries around the world: it contributes to your savings. Avoid buying plastic bags and reduce the amount of garbage you produce. We have traveled a lot in Asia and on this continent the plastic problem is something very present and too real. Try to reduce your use of plastic as much as possible. Today, there are many options to do so (soap and shampoo tablets, stainless steel bottles, order drinks without straw …) and of course keep the environment clean and respectful.
Positive effect: Animals
Protect natural ecosystems and their wildlife. Exotic animals are not an attraction for tourists. The only place they need to be is in their natural environment. Do not buy exotic animals or try the meat of endangered animals. Not only is it immoral, in many cases it is a crime. Keep in mind that not everything goes to photography and that many of these “shelters” are “zoos” hidden behind a front of good intentions.
Positive Impact: People
Buy typical crafts and try to prefer a solidarity trade. Choose restaurants, hostels, and private shops and distribute your purchases to prefer the micro-economy of the place. Do not spend all your money on a single business. If you are already paying for accommodation, try as much as possible to go to dinner at a nearby restaurant, not the hotel itself.