Countries that care

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Whether you’re planning a weekend break, a summer holiday or an explorative trip of a lifetime, why not choose as your destination a country that’s doing its best to help sustain people and planet? If you go this route, with the exception of Canada, you’ll be taking all your trips to countries in Europe and avoiding entirely all the more exotic, further-flung places that some of us might associate with ‘real travel’.

The Good Country, for example, has its own rather clever Good Country Index that ranks destinations by their global contribution to humanity and everything ‘good’ that matters – from science, technology and culture to international peace and security, world order, planet and climate, prosperity and equality, and health and wellbeing. According to their latest list the top 10 good countries in the world in rated order are Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands, The United Kingdom, Switzerland, Germany, Finland, France, Austria and Canada.

Stockholm, Sweden
Credit: H. Trygg – Stockholm, Sweden

You might want to check this against Yale’s environmental performance annual index, which ranks countries’ performance in protecting human health and ecosystems and looks at nine areas including air quality, climate and energy, forests and water resources. On their 2016 report they ranked as the top 10 most sustainable countries Finland, Iceland, Sweden, Denmark, Slovenia, Spain, Portugal, Estonia, Malta and France.

You’ll note that Sweden, Denmark and Finland appear in the top 10 in each list – so if you go to these places, you can be pretty sure you’ll be supporting somewhere sustainable. On return, spread the good by advocating any sustainably clever ideas you’ve come across in your own country, community or place of work.

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