Swisstainable: A new environment-friendly approach to travel
How Switzerland is leading the way in sustainability
Switzerland is one country that has been blessed with some of nature’s most beautiful creations — from its turquoise lakes, stunning mountains, abundant flora and fauna to its clean, pure air — making it one of the world’s most famous and aspirational tourist destinations. Switzerland has been continually spearheading sustainable initiatives and greener getaways for globe-trotters. In keeping up with the needs of today’s traveller for authenticity, proximity to nature and considerate consumption, Switzerland Tourism introduced Swisstainable sustainability strategy, with an aim to make the country the world’s most sustainable travel destination.
This programme is a transformative new attitude to travel and tourism that fits right in with the country’s eco credentials and covers the entire Swiss tourism industry. It is for anyone and everyone, locals included, looking for sustainable options while travelling within the country.
Sustainability has been an intrinsic part of Switzerland for decades. The Swiss famously lead low waste/ sustainable lifestyles, sharing a common passion for household recycling, choosing public transport over private vehicles and a great love for the outdoors.
Here are some factors that will help the environmentally conscious global traveller choose Switzerland over any other destination, as the ideal place to enjoy a stress-free holiday amidst nature in its purest form.
- SBB (Swiss Federal Railways), the country’s biggest transport company, generates 90 per cent of its electricity for its trains from hydropower!
- Staubern cableway- the world’s first battery-powered cableway that leads to the summit, relies exclusively on solar energy.
- The e-bus by PostBus in Interlaken, allows travellers to explore the city comfortably. To charge its battery, the PostBus relies entirely on renewable energy and falls back on the natural resource of hydro-electric power.
- The charming town of Zermatt, most famous for being the home to Matterhorn peak, is a complete car free town and is only accessible by train or on foot.
Not just this, Switzerland is packed with surprises when it comes to the range of planet-friendly, sustainable experiences that can all be booked in advance.
1. Enjoy nature up, close and at first hand
Switzerland encourages exploring the country on foot and offers countless hiking opportunities, from family-friendly one-day hikes in Switzerland’s National Park to treks that last days. You can take the ten-day walk along the Waldstätterweg with the Swiss Path leading you around Lake Lucerne that leaves you in awe with its scenic perfection and transports you to another world with every historical site you pass along the way! There are also more than 12,000 kms of standardised, sign-posted cycling routes throughout Switzerland. The many attractive paths along riverbanks and lake shores, with only minor uphill sections, are a special highlight. With easy rentals and inter-connected railways, one can always mix and match a bike experience with public transport to cover every nook and cranny of this beautiful country.
2. Consume regional products
Switzerland is known for its world-class cuisine and hospitality. What many people don’t know, however, is that Switzerland is also a stronghold of the nature-based, gastronomical experience. A lot of restaurants in the country use seasonal and regional produce to create authentic dishes which bring nature right to the plate in a sustainable way. Find out more here
On the October 1 this year, the country is also celebrating the World Vegetarian Day. To do its bit to encourage people to follow a healthy lifestyle and help save the planet, Switzerland will be going vegetarian for a day!
On Swisstainable Veggie Day, over 1,200 local restaurants and businesses will participate in making this endeavour a success by offering a vegetarian-only menu for a day. SWISS will participate in Veggie Day by offering only vegetarian meals to business class travellers on October 1, 2022. Edelweiss, all the restaurants of the McDonald’s chain (173) and the 14 restaurants of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETHZ) will also dish out vegetarian food for a day.
3. Stay for longer and delve deeper
Travellers can stay longer and relax and experience a closer bond among themselves and with nature by undertaking activities like barefoot hiking, diving in lakes, e-biking and Yoga trails. All these experiences can make one feel at home in the country, relaxing one while keeping the stress at bay. Often, guests extend their stays in Switzerland so that they can soak in the complete Swiss experience and return completely rejuvenated.
4. Grand Train Tour
On the Grand Train Tour of Switzerland, trains with panoramic views, take you to all the highlights and sights of Switzerland — from glaciers to lakes, mountains to cities, all year-round. This is especially recommended because an electric car produces 13 times more CO2 than a railway and railway traffic contributes only 0.2% to the total of CO2 emissions of overall traffic. Only pedestrians and bicycles are more ecological than Swiss trains.
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