Switzerland, a stunningly scenic country famous for its cheese and chocolates, also manifests a solid capability of championing environmental protection, and hence eco-tourism. This small-sized, landlocked country is full of businesses, academic initiatives, as well as other enterprises, determined to make bio-friendly use of resources for the entire world’s benefit. Needless to mention, Switzerland’s success in eco-tourism has attracted global attention.
Here are the aspects that make Switzerland an eco-tourism hotspot.
Producing more than twice the amount of energy required for the entire winter, the world’s earliest solar-powered ski lift is a proud feature of the stunning Safien Valley. Attracting curious and eco-conscious consumers, the ski lift is 492 yards long and carries snow sports fans, while producing solar power at the same time.
The innovative lift employs a system of cable cars with approximately eighty solar panels unified directly with it. The solar-driven ski lift can pull about eight hundred skiers up the snow-white mountain every hour.
The solar panels integrated into the ski lift produce appreciably more (about 21%) current as compared to conventional rooftop panels because photovoltaic cells are most efficient when they receive the sun’s vertical, maximally intense rays. The solar panels, with an ideal inclination of 30-degrees facing south, rotate about a single axis together with the sun and track it throughout the sky.
With its solar panels producing approximately 90,000 kWh every year, the ski lift also runs on the regional power supply, in the case of bad weather inhibiting the production of solar energy. In this case, skiers don’t need to keep hanging on in darkness.
Certified “Green” Accommodations
Eco-friendly travelers could experience difficulties while finding accommodations that are in synch with their environmentally-friendly lifestyles. Thankfully, Switzerland has countless hotels committed to going green.
For instance, many of its hotels and inns proudly carry the “ibex fair stay” tag for fulfilling particular standards related to customer gratification, minimized utilization of natural resources like water, lowered energy consumption, and reduced environmental effect, while also impacting the native community positively.
While seeking environmentally friendly destinations in the country, check out Zurich and Geneva, and make sure to use public transport for reaching these places. These eco-friendly cities are full of farm stays, hotels, and campsites equipped with plenty of ecologically sound facilities.
While staying in one of these accommodations, you’re sure to be as close to nature as possible. The green hotels also provide farm-supplied fresh food and drinks. Proper recycling of waste, usage of a heating system devoid of oil or wood, and optimized resource planning further boost their ratings of eco-consciousness.
Following a “no waste” policy, the Swiss don’t even waste the trash they dump. There’s zero percent of municipal solid waste reaching landfills. Switzerland either recycles all garbage in an eco-friendly way or incinerates it for generating energy. The country has well-established rules and practices for all types of waste, ranging from polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic bottles, paper, and packaging to animal remains.
For easy recycling of garbage, the Swiss use bright-colored collection bins, and carefully classify and label the waste before handing it over to the local authorities. This also saves a considerable amount of time and money.
The civic authorities motivate everybody to recycle to the max and organize campaigns often to improve knowledge of the matter. What’s more, the country not only recycles certain waste materials but also upcycles them, transforming them into designer items.
Unadulterated water sources
For achieving high-quality living, Switzerland fully utilizes various forms of renewable energy like hydroelectricity, solar power, and biofuel-derived or biotechnology-related energy. Moreover, the Swiss Government has effectively applied stringent rules as opposed to hazardous emissions like carbon dioxide gas and air contaminants. So, the country’s water sources, mainly, rivers, lakes, and streams are pure, and you can consume their water directly from the taps.
Switzerland’s most regulated foodstuff - tap water - fulfills the greatest standards of cleanliness and healthy living. It provides naturally occurring substances, quenches thirst as well as boosts concentration. Ninety-nine percent of the country’s drinking water contains pure water. The rest of the drinking water has minerals and salts in negligible quantities.
The country understands well that protecting nature significantly contributes to a healthy, green way of living. According to the Swiss Government-established federal forestry law, forests must occupy at least thirty percent of the nation’s land. As a result, Switzerland has numerous places filled with clear, fresh air coming from the forests that abound in a variety of flora and fauna.
The country has addressed the global concern of climate warming by striving to restrict the atmospheric temperature from rising higher than 2°C. Consequently, the carbon tax has shot up, greenhouse gas emissions being a significant cause of climate warming.
Switzerland has an elaborate but competent transport network. Train travel, the best means of economical travel in the country is well-liked by locals as well as tourists. The railway stations, besides being clean, offer numerous services and the trains themselves feature punctuality, an equal amount of cleanliness and comfort. Also, they are smoke-free.
Longer than 5000 km, Switzerland’s railway network covers a snow-filled and mountainous landscape. For example, both, the Glacier Express and the Golden Pass Line, offer panoramic and captivating sights, being truly memorable and also bringing the tourists close to nature. The nostalgic “Funi” (funicular railway), in operation since 1899, overhangs the Sarine River and runs without electricity and exhaust gases.
The scenic country also offers peaceful, beautiful as well as safe bicycle and trekking trails. Cycling, being extremely popular here, tourists are able to rent eco-friendly bicycles (e.g. bamboo cycles) in most parts of the country. It’s a sheer joy to cycle around the flat land of Zurich’s lakeshore and take in refreshing views.
How about green waterways? Solar energy-driven boats, the ideal way to cruise on scenic lakes like Lake Geneva, have practically noiseless electric motors, thus letting you enjoy the lake’s tranquility while taking in the breathtaking scenery. The environment-friendly lake boats take tourists on theme-based pleasure trips as well as professional outings over placid waves in broad daylight.
So, now you know about several aspects of eco-tourism in Switzerland - good enough knowledge to share with buddies over a glass of 805 beer and plan a trip right away!
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