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Sustainable Living Abroad

The word sustainability has been trending for a while now, but it is a concept that has been known for a long time. Sustainability can be seen as a type of lifestyle with the idea to reduce the use of the earth’s natural resources, which help to minimize the carbon footprint. Sustainability can be ensured by focusing on the three core elements of sustainability, which is environmental protection, social development, and economic development. Sustainability is essential for a quality life and the diversity of life on earth.

Sustainability in America is being implemented in many ways thanks to many new green innovations, the people’s awareness of the importance of eco-friendliness, and the government’s striving to become a sustainable nation. However, if the grass seems greener on the other side, here are some countries where sustainability is high due to ecologically sustainable policies.


Iceland uses renewable energy resources such as hydroelectric power and geothermal reserves to provide 100% of its electricity, and this includes heating in houses. The air pollution is very low and the water quality very high. The farming sector has diversified in such a way so that people can enjoy domestic produced tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers.


In Switzerland, they have implemented many innovative environmental management practices, which put Switzerland on top of the list of sustainable countries. Habitat protection has grown as 15 regional parks have been introduced in the country. Recycling is a free service in Switzerland, while the rail network is seen as the densest in Europe. Jobs in Switzerland have been created by the hundreds of thousands, due to the lucrative timber industry which is only possible thanks to the large forest areas that cover the country. Most homes in Switzerland are made from wood, and more than half of Swiss dwellings are provided with electricity through hydro-power plants. Nuclear power production makes up around 40% in electricity production.

Costa Rica

Due to the renowned rainforest conservation programs that are being supported by the government, about 25% of the land that falls under reserves and national parks are being protected. Hydroelectric, geothermal, and wind power produces about 90% of the electricity in Costa Rica. The capital of gas taxes, energy fees, and vehicle stamp duties are being put towards programs such as resource management and air-water protection. Costa Rica is supporting the world’s biodiversity by nearly 5%.


Environmental health, forestry, and water management are vital in Sweden. About 44% of the country’s energy is being obtained from renewable sources. In Sweden, the government is enforcing clean energy sources, high-quality healthcare services, and implementing eco-friendly public transportation in the rail networks. In their aim to discourage oil use, the government charges a carbon tax. The goal for Sweden is to have a zero net greenhouse gas emission by 2050.


This country might have the smallest population in the world, but it is one of the wealthiest countries on the planet – and it focuses significantly on environmentally sustainable policies. The quality of drinking water and proper sanitation in the country is remarkable, as proven in the 2014 EPI when the country scored 100% in these areas. About 17% of the terrestrial habitats in Luxembourg are being protected, which helps biological diversity. Luxembourg is making use of green energy as well as biogas and solid biomass with plans to invest in specific hydro and other biogas installations.



In 2014 the country obtained about 28% of its energy entirely from renewable sources. The goal for Germany is to make use of electricity that is altogether renewable through solar, wind, hydro, and biomass energy sources. The water quality has been proven to be excellent, and the access to sanitation and waste is high.


Cuba is worth mentioning as a sustainable country due to its sustainable architecture and agriculture, which goes as far back as the early 90s – when the law enforced the dedication to environmental performance. Cuba is seen today as one of the most ecologically sustainable countries in the world.


One of the most significant foreign donors to the tropical rainforests is Norway, who has donated over $1.6 billion to global rainforest conservation. Norway also discourages the use of oil through making use of a carbon tax, which has not been very successful, as the rise in carbon emissions is still increasing in the country. However, due to this problem, Norway has stayed committed to developing an economy-wide energy efficient strategy, and transport taxes and exemptions are being reviewed to come up with better renewable solutions.

There are many ways to adapt to a sustainable lifestyle in our communities, ecosystems, and homes around the world. Many of these countries have already adapted and are serving as a great example for the rest of the world.

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