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Sustainable Switzerland

When one thinks of Switzerland, the vision of preserved dramatic landscape and pristine waters come to mind. Quaint alpine huts dot the mountain hills, and numerous villages still live by tradition. However, there are cities, but the country works to adapt green ideology to make things work efficiently through clean energy.

When we travel, it’s our duty to support areas that work to reduce their carbon footprint. Switzerland, as a whole, is a country with a multitude of eco-tourism opportunity—with age old culinary practices and endless outdoor escapes, it’s a vacation away from the typical, that supports locals and generations of authentic businesses.

Photo By: Wikimedia Commons

Transport

More people use the rail service here than in any other country, because it reduces air pollution and frees up the roads—the views on many routes are pretty amazing, so this is probably a partial reason as well.

Currently, Switzerland is working to commission electric buses for public transportation. With some already in place, this efficient way to get arounds is emissions free and will preserve the envied air quality of the country.

With the winter sports industry dominating in the mountainous region, solar powered solutions are being implemented to further reduce the impact on the environment. Wildhaus is a great example of this, and it claims the title of the very first solar powered gondola in Switzerland. Carrying passengers to Alp Gamplüt, the panoramic views are overwhelmingly gorgeous. After disembarking, Kyklos, a revolving restaurant also fueled by the sun, awaits you.

Photo by: Wikimedia Commons

Food

“Genuine” is the best way to describe Swiss cuisine, because it’s simple and derived from the most basic, pure, traditional ingredients that have stood the test of time. German, French and Northern France have all impacted the food scene—there is a lot of focus on creative potato, bread and pasta creations. But the cheese and chocolate are where it’s at. While not vegan, these vegetarian creations made significant marks of the area’s past. Just to note, 18% of Swiss restaurants offer vegetarian food, and 11% offer vegan choices.

Locals shy far away from overproduced, poor quality ingredients that consume resources at an unnecessarily high rate. When sitting down to a meal, it’s comforting to know the country is strict about sustainable agricultural development and real, carefully cultivated food.

Photo by: Wikimedia Commons

All Swiss cheese is made with intense care, but if you see fromage d’alpage/Alpkäse Cheese, this means the milk came from cows that were walked to mountain pastures for the summer, to graze on wildflowers and herbs while basking in the sun. Flavor in these cheeses are even more unique and delicious, which should teach us that treating animals with love makes a true difference.

Milk chocolate was inspired in the 1800s by homegrown ingredients. The creator wanted to add raw, wholesome Swiss ingredients to take chocolate to the next level, and to make the treat less expensive. Today you’ll find sustainable, fair trade cocoa to be the only acceptable form to many chocolatiers, and you can even take tours at many of the world-renowned facilities like Läderach.

Photo by: Wikimedia Commons

Stay

Aside from green initiatives in the cities, like Basel’s green roofs and Chavannees-pres-Renens’ tree and foliage covered skyscraper plan, there are an abundance of hotels making a difference.

Badrutt’s Palace Hotel in St. Moritz, Park Hotel Weggis and Villa Honegg near Lake Lucern, as well as Beau Rivage and La Richmond near Lake Geneva use water from their lakes to cool and heat buildings, conserving almost 500,000 liters of oil every year.

But perhaps you want to steer completely clear of hotels—stay on a farm. With options to sleep in straw and care for animals, there is a varying range of experiences on real farms, displaying the Swiss way of simple, environmentally conscious living. MySwitzerland.com has a great search page to help find the perfect place to stay. Nothing beats dining on farm fresh food, and learning some pretty amazing things while visiting this beautifully preserved country.

Photo by: Wikimedia Commons

Published on Oct 30, 2018

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