Lonely Planet Writer

Reduce your carbon footprint while travelling to Iceland by funding new forests

Heading to Iceland is a dream trip for many people, but with so many eager travellers flocking to the country, it can take a toll on the natural environment. But thankfully, there are plans in place that will help let travellers offset their carbon footprint by paying to have trees planted.

The gorgeous green landscape of Iceland.
Overview of Thingvellir National Park, Thingvallavatn. Image by ©Gary Latham/Lonely Planet

According to RUV, Iceland’s national broadcasting service, tourists heading to the country will be able to pay for trees to offset their emissions as part of a partnership with the country’s forestry department. The Icelandic Forest Service has signed a contract with a private company, Landsskogar ehf., to establish the forest. The forestry service will plant and manage the forests and the company will take care of the rest. The plan is that travellers will be able to book a flight, tour, car rental or other tourism services and be able to add on trees to offset the impact. The forestry department does not yet know where the trees will be grown, but a process is underway to organise the program. Learn about the program and how to contribute here.

Beautiful view of people walking in the seam between the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates.
Tourists in Iceland may soon be able to offset their carbon footprint by paying for trees to be planted. Image by ©Nido Huebl/Shutterstock

There are already a number of avenues for travellers looking to offset the impact their adventures have on the world, regardless of destination. Globetrotters can calculate their carbon offset using calculators from organisations like Sustainable Travel or Climate Care, and learn about carbon offset programs that will fund reforestation efforts, renewable energy and more.

While travelling by public transit or bicycle can be a great way to reduce emissions while travelling, often there’s no option for getting to your destination besides a flight. A recent study looked at what are the best – and worst – airlines for carbon emissions, meaning if you have to take that flight for your next trip, you can find a better way to do it. Find out more ways to make sure your travel is sustainable here and here.