Increasingly around the world we are seeing a rise in conscious, responsible travel. Perhaps, nowhere more so than in Switzerland. Which is why we have decided to highlight six socially responsible and sustainable endeavours in the Alpine country that mean you can make a difference while on your holidays in Switzerland.

First plastic road in Zermatt

Plastic pollution is a very current problem. This is why Zermatt took a green approach to the resurfacing of one of their road junctions. It is using technology from award-winning Scottish firm MacRebur, which allows waste plastic that would otherwise have gone to incineration or landfill to be used in the asphalt. The project in Switzerland was led by Kirk Tinham, of Tinham & Co GmbH. The asphalt was produced by Ulrich Imboden AG and laid by Pierre Pistorius of the Zermatt community

Voluntourism in Switzerland

Switzerland Tourism and the Swiss Mountain Aid have been offering Voluntourism projects for the Swiss market since 2017. As of this summer, two offers will be bookable for the UK market for the first time. Support the Sterchi Buschle family as they work at their holiday camp in the village of Mergoscia. Located in the remote Verzasca valley, they can only be reached on foot. Support the Fuchs family on their farm in Appenzell Schlatt. The special feature of the farm are the floristry courses, which Sonja is looking forward to your help in planning and carrying out.

Funicular powered by wastewater

In Fribourg, you even do something good, when you go to the toilet. Because in the beautiful old town, you can find the last wastewater railway in Switzerland. The “Funi” (funicular railway), is an engineering masterpiece, listed as a cultural asset of national importance. This nostalgic railway has been running since 1899 – with no electricity or exhaust fumes. No motor powers the funicular instead wastewater from the upper town. Ascending a total 56.4 metres climb in altitude, the upper carriage uses filtered wastewater from the city in a 3000 litre tank (weight) to power it – and the driver regulates speed with the aid of cogwheel.

New cycling event – L’Étape Switzerland

Holidays in Switzerland

Don’t just go cycling on your holiday. Get involved. and what better way to do so then to take part in a brand-new cycling race for amateurs. On 14 September 2019, the first edition of L’Étape Switzerland by Tour de France will take. The cycling extravaganza will largely be held on traffic-free roads stretching from Bern to Interlaken and is open to all cycling enthusiasts. It is the big dream of every cycling enthusiast to feel like the professionals of the ‘Tour de France’ for a day.

Valsana Hotel – lived sustainability holidays in Switzerland

Holidays in Switzerland

A sustainable hotel concept that combines modern elements with retro chic. When constructing the ‘Valsana Hotel & Appartements’ building, special attention to sustainable materials, products from Switzerland, and a forward-looking energy concept was paid to ensure guests can enjoy their stay with a clear conscience. And sustainability goes much further than this and is lived out and implemented by all employees at the Valsana every single day. Some examples include: Guests who book directly on our website have the option of having a tree planted in Switzerland as a thank you. Shuttle service for guests arriving in Arosa by Rhätische Bahn railway to encourage use of public transport. Four free charging stations for electric vehicles. Pencils instead of ballpoint pens. Use of 100% recycled paper, bleached without chlorine. No plastic straws. Kitchen waste is sent to producers of biogas fuels.

E-Grand Tour – world’s first electric road trip

Furka pass by night in canton Valais, c. Switzerland Tourism / Marcus Gyger

Road trippin’ done green? Yes, that’s possible: the Grand Tour of Switzerland is the world’s first official touring route that is fully accessible to electric vehicles. A dense network with approx. 300 charging stations ensures power over the entire route and consequently guarantees comfortable and clean driving pleasure over 1000 miles. The Grand Tour of Switzerland crosses five Alpine passes, runs alongside 22 lakes and takes in 12 UNESCO World Heritage sites, combining the cultural and scenic highlights of Switzerland. The tour can be done individually or booked as an offer – certified with the myclimate label ‘carbon neutral journey’.

While on your Swiss holidays, why not consider visiting Lake Constance: One Holiday, Four Countries.

For more sustainable ideas to support on your holidays in Switzerland

Visit My Switzerland.