Cape Town - With more than 7 billion people sharing the planet, it's no secret that green, sustainable cities are fast becoming the norm.
With overpopulation and excessive usage of natural resources leaving us with less and less to work with or to sustain ourselves, travellers are likely to seek a deeper appreciation for the world we live in.
Added to this, The United Nations (UN) General Assembly recently marked 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.
“The importance of international tourism, and particularly of the designation of an international year of sustainable tourism for development, in fostering better understanding among peoples everywhere," says United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). "In leading to a greater awareness of the rich heritage of various civilizations and in bringing about a better appreciation of the inherent values of different cultures, thereby contributing to the strengthening of peace in the world."
SEE: #EcoTravel: Sustainable travel stays expected to double in 2017 - survey
While travellers are more inclined in wanting to invest in experiences that not only broaden their own horizons but where it can make a difference to the people, nature and wildlife of the places they visit.
Given the size and diversity of the world we live in, choosing destinations out of your bucket-list may not be the easiest task.
So instead of browsing through endless sites looking for places to add to your bucket list, we scouted and selected 5 eco-friendly cities around the world to help pinpoint one or two places you should consider for you next big break... Thank us later.
SEE: #EcoTravel: Big events that can help you make a small but useful difference
Vancouver, British Columbia
This coastal seaport city in Canada, located in the Lower Mainland region of British Columbia is consistently named as one of the top five worldwide cities for livability and quality of life.
The Economist Intelligence Unit acknowledged Vancouver as the first city ranked among the top-ten of the world's most well-living cities for five consecutive years.
This capital and largest city of the Brazilian state of Paraná scores above average in the green rankings.
After building one of the planet’s first large-scale, rapid-transit bus systems in the 1960s and developing a world-leading recycling program in the 1980s, the southern Brazilian city continues to be environmentally forward-thinking.
SEE: Brazil packed with travel riches, so why so few tourists?
Known for having more bikes than people, this the capital of the Kingdom of the Netherlands has the most bicycle-friendly infrastructures in the world.
In 2012, Amsterdam was ranked the second best city to live in by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and 12th globally on quality of living for environment and infrastructure by Mercer.
SEE: Explore: The World's 30 most cultural destinations
Cape Town, South Africa
South Africa’s second-largest city is making some of the biggest environmental strides in Africa, in part by pushing for more energy conservation and a greater use of renewable resources.
Cape Town was the first city to use South Africa’s commercial wind farm and by 2020, the city aims to get 10% of its energy from renewable resources. We're also doing some amazing carbon-neutral plans for our airports.
SEE: Going Green: Cape Town named as Top 5 global leader for climate disclosure
San Francisco, California
North America’s greenest city in the index has a long history of environmental consciousness stretching back to the founding of the Sierra Club environmental group in the 19th Century.
The city has a 77% recycling rate, one of the highest in the world, made possible through city mandates requiring the separation of recyclable and compostable materials from regular garbage.