three white windmills on green field under blue sky

The eco-friendly guide to Greece

Greece is known for its natural beauty and ancient history. However, Greece is below the average of the European Union regarding sustainability. This has to do with the crisis that started in 2008. Since then, the country has been preoccupied with economic and social issues. The Greeks had to find a way to survive, making sustainability an unaffordable luxury. Recently change started, when the worst part of the crisis was over. Today, there is finally room to think about improvement. New goals include digitalization and sustainable tourism, but Greece also started working on its first plans for becoming a more eco-friendly country. Many organizations and initiatives are working to protect the country’s environment and promote eco-friendly practices. Here are some of the top eco-friendly practices in Greece:

Sustainable tourism

The Greek government has implemented several measures to promote sustainable tourism, including the certification of eco-friendly hotels and the development of hiking trails and cycling routes. Many tour operators and travel agencies also promote eco-friendly tourism. Greece offers a wide range of eco-friendly accommodations, from traditional villages and rural houses to modern hotels and resorts. Booking.com recently included a sustainability score for their accommodations, check the availability in Greece below!

Booking.com

Renewable energy

Greece had set a goal to produce 60% of its energy from renewable sources by 2030 and has implemented policies to encourage the development of wind and solar power. Today, the country is at 29 percent, which is an increase of 21% since the start of the crisis. On top of the country’s mountains, you can find wind turbines, and in remote areas solar farms are installed. Let’s hope we will keep seeing more of them! Because with the amount of sunlight in Greece, solar energy should be one of the top eco-friendly practices.

Environmental education

The Greek government has implemented programs to promote environmental education, including the creation of nature schools and the development of educational programs for schools.

Besides, many of the Greek beaches are granted a Blue Flag Beach award. One of the main goals of Blue Flag is to connect people to their surroundings. Each awarded beach has to inform visitors about ecosystems and provide environmental education activities.

Recycling

Many local municipalities have implemented recycling programs and encouraged the recycling of different materials.

Conservation of endangered species

The Greek government has implemented several measures to protect endangered species, including the creation of national parks and the development of conservation programs. Here are my two favorites:

  • Arcturos
    Not many people know that Greece is home to wild brown bears. And if environmental organizations wouldn’t have been active, they will soon disappeared from the Greek mountains. Arcturos is one of the organizations protecting these bears and their habitat.
  • The National Marine Park of Alonissos.
    This marine park was the first park established in Greece and is today the largest marine protected area in Europe, with 2.265 km2. The N.M.P.A.N.S. aims to protect and preserve rare species and their habitats, like dolphins, seals, and sea turtles. But the organization also focuses on archeological, cultural, and historical significance.

Biodiversity

Greece has a rich biodiversity, with many rare and endemic species. Many organizations are working to protect and preserve this biodiversity, including the creation of protected areas, the protection of wetlands, and the management of invasive species.

Sustainable agriculture

Many farmers in Greece are implementing sustainable agriculture practices, such as crop rotation, organic farming, and the use of traditional farming methods.

Green buildings

The Greek government has implemented policies to promote green building practices and energy efficiency in new buildings.

Sustainable transportation

Sustainable means of transportation are hard to find in Greece. Train and metro networks are scarce and limited to Athens. Outside the capital, fossil fuel buses are often the only option. Besides, large areas of the mainland and islands are inaccessible for electric cars due to a lack of chargers. 

The good thing is that Greece is on the way to changing this with the implementation of eco-friendly practices. The Greeks are offered tax reductions and subsidies when they choose to go electric, and municipalities will install new charging stations. In addition, the Greek government has implemented policies to promote the development of cycling and walking infrastructure, and the promotion of public transport.

Conservation of cultural heritage

The Greek government has implemented several measures to protect the country’s cultural heritage, including the restoration of ancient monuments and the development of archaeological parks.

Do you want to prepare yourself for a visit to Greece? Or do you simply want to learn all there is to known about this beautiful country? Leave your email below and get the answer to all your questions!

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