Alpine meadows, wild herbs, species-rich flower villages, sunny orchards and vineyards - Eastern Styria reveals an incomparable rural idyll in which the authentic protagonists tradition and sustainability shake hands.
Hardly any other term has developed as much in recent years as this one. But what is sustainability actually? Sustainability means meeting one's own needs, but still preserving nature and our habitats for future generations. Sustainability has already taken on a strong role in tourism - also in Eastern Styria, the garden of Austria.
The 17 Global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations aim to create a sustainable use of resources.
This also includes travelling and holidaying responsibly!
How can tourism contribute to sustainability awareness?
In connection with the SDGs of the 2030 Agenda, the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has formulated recommendations for action to create awareness for one's own behaviour during a trip. These include topics such as food handling, cultural awareness and regional consumption.
On 25 September 2015, the UN General Assembly in New York approved the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Agenda contains 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with 169 sub-goals, which the states want to achieve by 2030.
The thematic areas include ending poverty and hunger, protecting resources and the planet, as well as peace, prosperity and partnership.
These goals are aimed at everyone: states, civil society, business, science and each and every individual.
The Climate & Energy Model Regions (KEM) initiative supports regions in Austria that have set the protection of climate and environment as their focus.
The goal of the KEM is to no longer be dependent on expensive oil imports and to no longer be afraid of gas crises. Sun, wind, water and bioenergy from the region are to serve clean energy production. The complete phase-out of fossil energy is the long-term vision.
Projects in the fields of renewable energy, reduction of energy consumption, sustainable construction, mobility, agriculture and awareness raising are implemented together with partners from the region. In addition, climate and energy model regions have access to an extensive network as well as exclusive training, support and funding.
Already 11 regions/municipalities in Eastern Styria are among them and want to make a CO2-free holiday possible:
Buy organic and regional. In Eastern Styria, our producers offer excellent opportunities to do something good for the climate as well as for yourself, because regional food is virtually "just around the corner". You won't find such a shopping and enjoyment experience anywhere else. Here is an overview of the types of direct marketing: farm-gate sales, farmers' markets, farmers' shops, self-service shops, self-service machines.
Accommodation that pays particular attention to sustainability are the "Urlaub am Bauernhof" farms. A farm holiday means being close to life in the countryside, feeling and experiencing it up close, moving freely and getting to know the daily operations on a farm. Farmers have been observing the natural cycle of life for centuries and orient all their activities accordingly.
Experience lived sustainability at first hand: in terms of energy supply, in organic farming, in animal husbandry on the farm and in dealing with people. Nothing stands in the way of an unforgettable adventure holiday.
Green Globe - a seal of quality specially developed for the tourism industry. More than 500 businesses worldwide carry the Green Globe logo. In contrast to other certificates, it is not just about regular confirmation of sustainability, but about achieving continuous improvements in sustainability together with the audited businesses.
The Austrian Eco-label for tourism, gastronomy and cultural businesses is intended to bring about an environmental and quality improvement in your business, to enhance the image of your business and thus to offer guests a comprehensively sustainable experience in an Austrian destination.
The Retter Bio-Natur-Resort has been awarded the Green Globe and the Austrian Eco-label and is considered a leading sustainable business and climate-neutral pioneer in Austrian tourism. The same applies to the Almwellness Hotel Pierer, Garten-Hotel Ochensberger, Naturhotel Bauernhofer and Ponyhof Ratten, which were awarded the Austrian eco-label.
The shared taxi in Eastern Styria successfully complements the existing public transport system.
SAM offers a great mobility alternative for the region's residents, but also for holiday guests, as an environmentally conscious way of doing without a car and as a feeder to car and bike sharing.
Now, trips to the doctor, shopping or hiking are also possible for everyone.
Discover the wine country of Styria with its three wine-growing regions in eight stages on the slightly more than 400 kilometre long circular cycle tour. One of the eight stages connects the Capital of Culture Graz with Eastern Styria, the Garden of Austria. Coming from Graz, three of the eight stages lead through Eastern Styria before the route continues to guide visitors towards Thermen-und Vulkanland.
The circular tour can be started anywhere. Special highlights in Eastern Styria are the Eastern Styrian Roman Wine Road, the apple-growing area of Puch near Weiz and the many cultural attractions along the route.
Nature parks are not untouched and overgrown places, rather they can be described as cultural landscapes. People and nature should benefit from each other in equal measure, according to the motto "protect and benefit"!
Together with partners from agriculture, care is taken to ensure that biodiversity develops sustainably, thus creating a functioning basis of life for humans and animals. For our guests and residents, this means appreciating nature and its diversity and treating it responsibly.
Of the seven nature parks in Styria, two are located in Eastern Styria, the Garden of Austria. On the one hand, there is the Almenland Nature Park, which is mainly used for agriculture and forestry and offers tourists an ideal destination for hiking and recreational holidays. The second nature park in Eastern Styria - the Pöllauer Tal Nature Park - stretches across the municipalities of Pöllau and Pöllauberg. It is characterised by numerous colourful orchards, the Pöllauer Hirsch pear and an idyllic hilly landscape.