As you’ve likely heard, Iceland and Greenland were named “incorrectly”: Iceland features a rich geography while Greenland is essentially a vast icy wasteland. What you may not know, however, is how amazingly green Iceland really is:
Iceland is one of the most eco-friendly countries in the world
With nearly all of Iceland’s power coming from renewable resources, it’s safe to say that Iceland is consistently one of the environmentally friendly countries in the world. In recent years, it’s even been voted as #1!
A whopping 90% of homes are heated with geothermal energy, and much of the remaining 10% of power comes from hydroelectric sources powered by Iceland’s large network of waterfalls. This renewable energy is also used to run Iceland’s domestic farms, where many fruits and vegetables for local consumption. A common complaint from tourists is the high price of food and transportation, so it will be exciting to see how that changes over time: electric vehicles will be more affordable and abundant, and as farms’ energy demands decrease through technological optimization, food costs should decrease slightly. It still makes more sense for Iceland to import the majority of their food, so there will always been costs baked into day-to-day life, but with renewable and technological advancements, those costs should see consistent and significant reduction over time.
In addition to this incredible display of renewable energy, the country is also strongly outspoken against unnecessary waste. Why ruin Iceland’s natural beauty with avoidable landfills? Iceland’s landscape has already shown significant, measurable change due to global climate change, so it makes sense that they would promote renewable resources, minimizing waste, and reducing pollution. They say only the most clueless tourists purchase water, and it’s typical to carry a reusable bottle with you. I picked up an awesome blue HYDAWAY bottle that not only did it’s job in the middle of a glacier, but has already saved the day (more than once!) in Costa Rica. Having a reliable water source on hand isn’t just useful in countries with contaminated tap water, but in countries like Iceland, it’s a sign of respect to their cultural values.
Geothermal heat is the main source of energy nationwide
It makes you wonder, with Iceland topping the charts with environmental friendliness and citizen happiness/satisfaction, do the two have anything to do with one another? Citizens of Iceland can wake up knowing that they not only have avoided being a major contributor to global climate change, but they also set a global example for capitalizing on natural resources as a source of renewable energy. I won’t pretend that this is the first thing Icelanders thing of when they wake up, but because of their country’s progressive stance on making the world a better place, they are afforded the luxury of doing so. For those who care about environmental causes and renewable energy, wouldn’t you feel better knowing that over 90% of your energy is coming from natural geothermal heat, and not spewing a cocktail of substances into the air we breathe? For those less concerned about biological factors, isn’t it exciting to live in a time where we can develop and optimize the most advanced methods of harnessing natural energy, ever? While my stance on the matter may be somewhat transparent, I am honestly not telling you how to feel or what to think. I’m simply asking you to think. Think about your place in the world, and the future you want, where you came from, and where you’re going. Take a minute to put yourself in others’ shoes. Explore, and meet new people who live their lives differently than you: there’s always enough time to wander and ponder.