eco-friendly beaches from around the world
As we welcome beaches summers and the ‘chubti jaldi garmi’ of Dermi-Cool advertisement plays in the background for us, we dream of those balmy mornings where we are lying under the palm trees, with our shades on and our drinks beside us (of course with those little colourful umbrellas). Preparing ourselves for the scorching Indian heat, we can’t help but imagine what it would be like to swing on a hammock under the palm trees while soaking in the beautiful paradise of the Bora Bora Islands or the Caribbean.
But while planning for these soothing vacation spots on the beaches, our responsibility towards the environment should not be washed off by our own waves of reckless attitude and thoughtlessness. So why not visit one of the many eco-friendly beaches from around the world?
1. Whitehaven, Australia
The winner of cleanest beach in Queensland and many other awards, it’s easy to understand why Whitehaven beach is one of the most breathtaking beaches of the world. It stretches 7 km along the Whitsunday Island, Australia and has also won national awards for environmental protection and resource recovery/sustainability. The beach is best known for its sparkling crystal white silica sands and the turquoise, green and blue water.
2. Playa Matapalo, Costa Rica
The Osa Peninsula, which is also known as the Lungs of the Earth due to its dense forests, is also blessed with a conservation-minded government. Playa Matapalo was awarded a Blue Ecological Flag which means that it has met many demands for environmental conservation. Including establishing a sanitary coastal area; having potable water; preventing organic waste or industrial pollutants from reaching the ocean; offering environmental education, and providing first aid and police security within the community.
Situated at the southern tip of the Osa Peninsula, Playa Cabo Matapalo is a quiet, rocky beach which has cabanas or bungalows to give its tourists a chance to embrace its pristine beauty.
3. Hanauma Bay, USA
“Hana” is Hawaiian for “Bay” while “Uma” refers to the curves of the indigenous canoes. This gorgeous wineglass shaped Bay in Honolulu, Hawaii is the home of the most diverse and varied marine life ecosystems in the world. Looking at it now, one could never believe that this “curved bay” was restored after years of use.
After the restorations, in 2002 the Marine Education Center was opened, where all the visitors must watch a short educational video about conservation of the bay before entering the beach. Through this video, the emphasis is placed on encouraging visitors not to touch the sea life or coral. Hanauma Bay is now one of the premier destinations for snorkelling and one of the top eco-friendly beaches.
4. Koh Libong, Thailand
One of the best-kept secrets of Thailand’s least-visited province, Trang is the breathtaking Ko Libong. The largest island of the province is protected by Swedish environmentalists and favoured by local officials who are committed to sustainability and ecotourism. Since it is uninfluenced by mass tourism, the beaches are wrapped in rubber trees, thick with mangroves and known for its captivating flora and fauna (especially the resident dugongs and migrating birds).
5. Las Islas Cies Galicia, Spain
An uninhabited archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean, Las Islas Cies Galicia is a part of the Galician Atlantic National Park. In order to protect the beach, there are restrictions like the number of visitors per day, no cars and night stays only restricted to camping. Visitors get to experience one of Europe’s most enchanting beaches with crystalline waters and tree-lined coasts.