Conscientious Traveller, Conserve & Protect Mother Nature

Conscientious Traveller, Conserve & Protect Mother Nature

Let’s admit it, we all jump at the opportunity to get out and enjoy some fresh air and sunshine. A stroll in the park. A visit to the neighbourhood playground. A trip to the seaside. A trek with your pet. That all sounds great to me. It’s wonderful seeing glorious blue skies and feeling the sun's warm rays on our arms, wouldn’t you agree?

A little hope, a little prayer,
to see the light.

But as you’ve explored the great outdoors, have you ever noticed the natural beauty of those beautiful places gradually diminishing over time? Have you seen signs of adverse changes or any disturbances to the equilibrium of the ecosystem? If not, then it’s time to pay attention.

Protect the path.
Responsibility to Mother Nature.

Recent catastrophic disasters (hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones) and ruthless deforestation are not only causing the loss of countless lives and wrecking homes but also damaging the natural landscapes that we take for granted.

I am distraught, and that is why I am writing this article as a reminder that all of us need to do something, especially for the ones who cannot speak up for themselves. This article is a follow-up to my post on the Maldives.

Be the voice. Choose to protect.

The fires blazing today are ruthlessly destroying our million-year-old green lungs in the Amazon, Asia, and other parts of the world. Sadly, this form of destruction has become the norm in some parts of the world. Humans are junking more and more items into the sea. We use more plastic today than we did decades ago. We have larger carbon footprints today than anyone in the past. Experts warn that these are some of the causes of global warming.  

We are all witnesses to the disastrous effects of hurricanes, typhoons, and cyclones. The destruction in the Bahamas, Haiti, and countries affected by the great Asian tsunamis is a reminder of nature’s mighty powers.

A hurricane passing through.  Natures mighty powers. 

We read about the melting glaciers, ice sheets, and general thermal expansion caused by the warming of the sea. It is an inevitable fact that our sea levels are rising, affecting cities like Jakarta, London, Dhaka, Bangkok, New Orleans, and several island-countries like the Maldives. Some of these cities may no longer exist in years to come. If nothing is done today, they will only be text in historical recordings. These effects of global warming are impacting real people with families and friends. The struggles they now face are constant reminders that we are on a fast-track to destroy our four-and-a-half-billion-year-old home. 

Flooded city. No cycling on these roads today.

It is vital to recognise every form of life: Ancient trees and the ones that aren’t so old. Plants. Parasites. Bacteria. Fungi. Coffee beans. Marine life. The creatures that move on the earth, as well as those that don’t move an inch. The creatures that dwell in the deepest parts of the ocean. Birds of all sorts. Insects we haven’t even seen. Oh, yes, and humans. The list doesn’t end. Every life on Earth is essential and equal. 

Every life is equal.

As a traveller and, more importantly, as a fellow citizen of Earth, I am saddened by what I have seen over the years. That is why I am writing this article: to remind ourselves that we too need to do something. When a child like Greta Thunberg speaks up for the earth and challenges world leaders and corporations to stop climate change, I know we too are in a position to lend our hands and voice. Change starts with us. It begins in our homes.

Alone after Hurricane Gaja. 

I have always taken extra time and care to post beautiful pictures of places in this blog because, well, the earth is beautiful! The countries, cities, towns, and villages that exist on it are beautiful! The living beings that dwell here are even more beautiful! This is our place, our Earth. Our Mother Nature. Our home. If we also want future generations to see and experience the pristine surroundings you see here, we must conserve it. Grab your coffee, because what I am going to say next is a dead-serious matter. 

Serious topics, strong coffee. An Otter stares back.
Its a matter of responsibility.

Conservation is a continuous process. The future existence of islands, atolls, and marine and land wildlife is in our hands. Even though we may be miles away from the ocean or the Amazon, you and I today must take some of the many small measures within our means to ensure the equilibrium of the ecosystem:

  • Dispose of waste responsibly. 

  • I'll start with this because we have control over this action. Let’s follow this candy wrapper explore the world:
  • You unwrap a candy. Since no one is watching, you throw the wrapper onto the street. Don’t roll your eyes, because I have seen this plenty of times.

Be responsible. Do the right thing.

  • The wrapper is very light. A gentle breeze blows it away. After a few iterations of this, the candy wrapper ends up in a drain. Imagine 1,000 more candy wrappers ending up in the same drain.
  • The drain gets clogged with candy wrappers, other plastics, and waste. Clogged drains cause drainage systems to fail.
  • Heavy rain! Time to sing ‘Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head’. Ohhh! Clogged drains. The excess water cannot flow smoothly. Rain continues. Next thing you know, it’s flooding. Residences need to be evacuated. The tune changes to ‘Rain, Rain, Go Away’.  
Would you want your ‘sweet’ candy wrapper to be the cause of lost possessions, homes, lives, and the spread of disease?
Let’s take it a little further.
  • The wrapper survives the drain clogging. 
  • It makes its way along with other waste-companions to the rivers. The river meets-up with the sea. The wrapper says, ‘I am free! I am free! I am in the deep blue sea! ‘

Conscientious travel: Love the life within. 

  • Look, there is a copepod. Did you know that small fish feed on this important group of animal plankton known as copepod? Well, it thinks the wrapper is a moving plant and nibbles on it. Part of the wrapper is now inside the copepod, but not only in one. In thousands. Oh, boy, oh, boy!
  • A tuna nearby is hungry but extremely happy to see the well-fed copepods and swallows them in. Delicious!
  • Meanwhile, a fisherman at sea pulls up his net. What a whole load of yummy fish, he thinks as he wonders how many bills he could pay with this catch.
  • At dinner, the fish is now a deliciously grilled dish serving on your dinner table.
  • You and your children are enjoying the toxin-filled fish! Your wrapper returns to you.
Think about it!
Care for what you consume. Protect the oceans.

  • So, when you come across someone disposing of something irresponsibly (littering, dumping waste into rivers, leaving rubbish on sidewalks), do the right thing – tell them not to or call the authorities. 

  • Save energy and reduce carbon footprint.

  • Now come on, don't be shy to take public transport, carpool, walk or why not cycle whenever possible. There is nothing wrong with walking a bit or riding a bus or taking a train.
Reduce carbon footprint and keep fit. 

  • Walk to the grocery shop or market to pick up your supplies. Too many things to carry back? How about using a push-cart? Afraid to shop alone? How about organising or joining community walk-shop-talk trips? 
  • Switch-off any electric appliances that are not in use at home, office or in your hotel room. 

Save energy.

  • Switch to solar energy to reduce dependence on fossil fuel. The use of solar panels to create electricity helps mitigate global warming and urban heat islands by lowering the emission of greenhouse gases.

Switch to solar energy. Do you see the light?

  • Opt for energy-saving alternatives. Examples include using a handheld fan instead of an electric fan or taking the staircase instead of the lift. These are simple ways to save energy while losing a couple unwanted calories. 
  • Eco-friendly hotels are booming. Do support them and their initiatives.

  • Recycle reusable material and reduce the use of plastics.

  • Don’t like that shirt, dress or over-coat? Wait, don’t trash them. Extend their lives by donating them to various organisations or giving them away to other fellow-travellers. 
  • Most of us are guiltily dependent on plastics and overuse them. Reduce your use of plastic as much as possible. Pack your food in recyclable containers and use only recyclable or biodegradable bags. 

  • Spread awareness to protect the oceans.

  • All life on Earth is connected to the ocean and its inhabitants. Without the ocean, life would not exist. Period! Protect the rivers, sea and oceans as dearly as you’d protect your life.
Everything is connected. Protect the sea and oceans. 

  • Recycle water around the house by catching rain water. This water can be used for washing clothes, utensils and gardening. Recycling water in large scale brings tremendous benefit to the environment, including  creating or improving wetlands habitats.
 Save water and save on bills.

Encourage your connections to adopt environment saving-measures. Some coffee sure helps. ☕ Educate those around you, at home or when you travel, about the effects of climate change and provide pointers to help them institute positive change.

We have nothing if we don't have this earth. It’s time to step up. It’s time to do something to protect the planet. Every little step forward counts. We may not all have the revenue to tie ourselves to trees to prove a point, but we can start with ourselves, our homes, and our communities.

Enjoy the mild sun.
Say no to global warming.

There’s no longer a wait-and-see-fix phase. We have passed that stage. The earth is angry at our lack of concern. But it’s not too late to pick up the pieces. Let’s together protect it as we would defend our ourselves. The four-and-a-half-billion-year-old Earth the only real antique we have! It is priceless. Choose to conserve. Choose to protect. Be a responsible and conscientious traveller. Counting stars, Reaching Delphi, for a cleaner and safer tomorrow.

One Earth, One Home. Ours. Protect her!

No comments:

Post a Comment