Discovering Sustainable Travel in Canada

Rocky Mountains © Lacey Gilmour/Travel Alberta | Sustainable Travel in Canada

By Allie Murray

Filled with natural beauty, the coastlines and mainland of Canada have endless areas waiting to be explored. Surrounded by three oceans, filled with more lake area than any other country, and home to some 50,000 islands, Canada is an adventurer’s paradise.

Ranked ninth in the world for sustainability by Green Living Rankings, Canada is putting its focus on sustainable tourism, encouraging all tourists to travel with intention and kindness.

sustainable travel Fogo Island
Photo © Courtesy of Fogo Island Inn

Fogo Island, Newfoundland and Labrador

Situated off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador, Fogo Island is a quaint town that boasts luxury and sustainability.

A stay at Fogo Island Inn allows you to enjoy picturesque views of the ocean, and if you’re lucky, see the northern lights. Fogo Island Inn is a one-of-a-kind award-winning luxury property with 29 unique rooms and suites, each with floor-to-ceiling windows that open onto the ocean.

Built on the principles of sustainability and a true love and respect for nature and culture, Fogo Island Inn offers a holistic immersion into community development and cultural preservation.

Working alongside local charities and sustainability practices, Fogo Island Inn is seen as a community asset. All operating surpluses are reinvested to help secure a sustainable and resilient future for Fogo Island and contribute to the local and global economy.

On Big 7 Travel’s ranking of the 50 best eco-friendly places to visit in 2022, Fogo Island came in 46th!

© Celestine Aerden/Travel Alberta

Rocky Mountains, Alberta and B.C.

One of the most known landmarks is the Canadian rocky mountains, spreading across Alberta and British Columbia. Not only are the mountains known for their beauty, but they are also known for their focus on sustainability.

Canada’s west coast, Alberta in particular, is leading the country in sustainability. By focusing on sustainable practices for day-to-day life, the provinces also put an emphasis on sustainable tourism for those coming to visit.

With a visit to the rocky mountains, enjoy a low-impact trip like Banff Adventures’ horseback riding trips within Banff National Park. The activity gives a unique look into the region’s natural beauty, designed to give you a taste of what Banff’s original settlers experienced more than 200 years ago.

The region is an adventurers paradise: offering hiking tours in the summer, and skiing and snowboarding slopes in the winter.

Edmonton © Sameer Design/Travel ALberta

Edmonton, Alberta

Last summer, Edmonton became the first city in western Canada to join the Global Destination Sustainability Movement, a global index that tracks environmental sustainability in a bid to become a more attractive tourism destination.

Since taking part in this initiative, Edmonton, Alberta has heightened its focus on environmentally friendly options in the city and surrounding areas. In October 2021, Edmonton was ranked second in participating North American cities and 20th in participating large cities for sustainable tourism.

Edmonton is home to an abundance of national parks, including Elk Island National Park, which was established in 1906 as Canada’s first federal wildlife sanctuary. The national park is home to herds of free roaming bison, deer, and elk—and protects endangered habitats and species in Canada.

Canoeing on the ocean © Tourism Vancouver/Ben Giesbrecht

Ucluelet, B.C.

Located on the edge of the Pacific Ocean, and ranked 45th on Big 7 Travel’s list of 50 best eco-friendly places to visit in 2022 is Ucluelet, British Columbia.

In March of 2019, Ucluelet adopted its first climate action plan, setting its targets for 100 percent renewable energy and an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. In March of 2022, working towards that goal, they put a ban on single-use plastics, and continue to work towards achieving their goal by 2050.

With a visit to Ucluelet, enjoy a sustainable stay at Black Rock Oceanfront Resort. In 2021, the resort began its journey to become a zero-waste hotel. Joining forces with the Vancouver Island Green Business Collective, Black Rock Oceanfront Resort has removed single-use plastics, implemented natural and locally made cleaning products, and so much more to encourage their guests to travel sustainably.

Old Québec © Unsplash/Sondoce Wasfy

Old Québec, Québec

Known for their sustainability efforts for more than a decade, Québec is striving to offer responsible travel options for tourists entering the region. The Government of Québec put out an action plan for how they would emphasize sustainable tourism from 2020 to 2025, which included sustainable transportation, supporting businesses’ response to climate change, and continuing to develop natural areas across the province.

Visit Old Québec and be immersed in historic streets and quaint shops. Old Québec offers a variety of sustainable transit options, including buses, bike rentals, electric cars, and tours to go along with any sustainable option you choose.

The city boasts nearly 400 kilometers of bike paths and corridors, allowing the region to be explored through the view of a local.

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