Caring for the environment as part of your expat strategy

Caring for the environment as part of your expat strategy

Caring for the environment as part of your expat strategy

More than ever before, the environment is as much the concern of everyday people as it is for governments, but should it be part of expats’ destination choices?

In Britain, many millions are now taking the plight of the environment seriously by doing their best to recycle, reduce their carbon footprints and use green energy. However, the same can’t be said for many favourite expatriate destinations crawling with conspicuous consumption and totally ignoring environmental awareness, and not every expat who leaves the UK for a dream job overseas has taken into account the environmental considerations of his or her new home. Once in the new country, the lack of concern of its government and the majority of its people can hit hard on those who’ve tried to live green back at home, especially if air pollution is a major concern.

For would-be expats who really do care about the earth and its millions of species, the Environment Performance Index is just a click away and gives reports on countries which at least try to minimise their negative environmental effects. The index ranks 180 world countries, comparing their efforts with environmental criteria and identifying the world’s greenest nations. Unsurprisingly, Iceland tops the list for its EPI of 93.5, its dependency on its own natural resources and its position as global leader in renewable energy technology. Luckily, its vast geothermal resources give it the advantage, and its ultra-clean waters support not only its population but also its unspoiled wildernesses and their inhabitant species.

Switzerland’s forward-thinking, green policies encourage ecological awareness in its citizens, most of whom live eco-friendly lives. It’s a top recycler, and sustainable resources are favoured by its businesses. For expats looking for a warmer, eco-friendly climate, Costa Rica is the place, as it’s now close to being the world’s first carbon-neutral country. Environmental policies are strictly enforced, especially as regards water and air pollution.

Sweden is a well-known green destination for its consumption of organic foodstuffs, its renewable energy resources and its recycling efforts. For Swedish people, sustainability is where it’s all at, and reducing carbon emissions is a priority. Its neighbour Norway is equally into sustainable development and plans to be carbon-neutral by 2030. Norwegian kids learn environmental protection at school, along with living in harmony with nature.

For those considering expatriation, there are other countries in addition to those named above which respect the natural world and its essential contribution to the wellbeing of all who depend on it. Tailoring the need for a new life, a new career or business and a new focus doesn’t mean ignoring the threat of damage to our ever-more fragile environment and its species, including humans. Making an informed decision as to your new country and its environmental efforts could save you from the long-term effects of polluted air, water and even the food you eat.

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