A while ago we posted a list of the 10 greenest cities on earth. Now, Four Green Steps has put together a list of the ten greenest countries on the planet. Unfortunately, the US didn’t make the list. Maybe we were number 11?
1. Iceland Reykjavik, Iceland is not only the world’s greenest city – the entire country stands out as going above and beyond when it comes to sustainability and eco-friendliness. Iceland nabs the top spot for its low greenhouse gas emissions, protection of natural resources, and well-managed reforestation programs. The country gets energy for heat, hot water and electricity entirely from hydropower and geothermal resources — both of which are renewable and free of greenhouse gas emissions.
2. Switzerland Coming in close in second is Switzerland. According to Planet Green, Switzerland attained green superiority because of a tough stance on pollution. Legislation in the country plans to target pollution reduction. Switzerland also charges fees for their water and waste management services as well as environmental taxes which promote personal responsibility. It costs 1 euro for every bag of trash disposed of in Switzerland.
3. Costa Rica Costa Rica holds its rainforests and high biodiversity as a top priority. Five percent of the world’s biodiversity is contained in this one country. A full quarter of the nation is devoted to park preservation. Costa Rica is also big on eco-tourism, which supports its local people. Many of its hotels are environmentally friendly and blend into the environment with minimal pollution.
4. Sweden Sweden has some of the purest air in Europe, because of the heavily regulated carbon emissions and fossil fuel output. One of its cities, Malmo runs entirely on biofuels, while many other cities also use many alternate energy resources. Per technorati: Swedes are serious about conserving, reusing, preserving and recycling. Every single Swede feels it’s their obligation to Planet Earth to be conscientious of the environment. Every household recycles! There are different bags under the kitchen sink designated for various waste items. One is for food waste/coffee grinds, etc., another for paper items (such as something packaging food would come in) while another is for plastic items and yet another for glass bottles. Newspapers and magazines also get recycled.
5. Norway Most of Norway’s energy comes from hydroelectric power. Ecological habits are integrated into everyday Norwegian life, education, as well as in the common rules of “living together”; recycling is taught from childhood, cycling is extremely widespread, and children learn about plants and animals from a very young age.
6. Mauritius Like Costa Rica, Mauritius prides itself in its biodiversity. This island nation off the southeast coast of the African continent has a booming eco-tourist based economy that thrives off its lush landscapes and beautiful beaches. Amongst many other green efforts, the Ministry of Environment has adopted an anti-littering campaign to reduce the amount of litter left by tourists.
7. France Climate change is one of the biggest issues for the French government and therefore, various steps have been taken in order to keep the country clean and green. One of which is the promotion of the country-wide mass public transportation system which reduces the amount of carbon emissions, keeping France’s air cleaner. In 2004, France closed down its last coal mine, and now gets 80% of its electricity from nuclear power, so CO2 emissions are relatively low.
8. Austria Austria is very keen on maintaining its picturesque landscapes. The country has long been a fan of alternative energy. Austria has combined the use of hydropower with the use of wind, solar, and other renewable power sources, and has managed to green its power supply up to an impressive 80% use of renewable power sources. Their longtime commitment to ecological energy sources has made Austria a model for clean energy.
9. Cuba Cuba is big on eco-tourism and forest preservation. Promoting awareness and respect for the local cultural, community and environment is part of their eco-tourism philosophy. Likewise, most Cubans have their own vegetable plots, saving the country from having large agricultural farming facilities.
10. Colombia Colombia is very rich in biodiversity, and is home to about 10% of the world’s species. The country’s transportation system is highly fuel efficient with most vehicles using bio-diesels rather than oil. The government uses reforestation programs and sustainable forest development to guarantee income to locals, without having to exploits its resources.
Source: Four Green Steps