Each tourist destination in the world is unique unto itself. Whether it is for the scenic natural beauty, rustic monuments or amusement parks, the locals who live in these destinations take pride in their hometown. They want people from around the world to come, appreciate and enjoy what their land has to offer. So they happily welcome tourists, both domestic and international. But what they do expect is that visitors show respect to their homeland. One significant way through which a traveller can dignify a tourist destination is by keeping its environment clean. Nature and litter have never complemented each other very well. The farther they are the better. So travelers need to ensure that the places they visit remain pristine and unspoiled.
Here are some tips to help you make sure that you keep the environment clean during your holiday.
Dispose litter wisely
Plastic bags, chocolate wrappers, juices boxes and chips packets look good only when they’re in your hands. They look worst when they’re on the ground. So no matter where you go, make sure to never litter, even if it’s just a tiny piece of paper. That is the best and the most significant way you can keep the environment clean. Wait until you can spot a garbage bin and dump all the trash in it. Or you could carry a bag with you in the car to dispose of all the plastic waste and when you reach your hotel, you could dump the bag in the trash can.
Refrain from plastic bags
When you visit a shopping centre or a street market, carry a bag with you. Think of what you want to buy and have a bag which can fit all your purchases. People usually take a plastic bag from each shop they visit. But they only care about the item purchased. So they dispose of the plastic bags anyways. It serves a limited purpose. But if you carry a reusable bag with you to whichever shop you visit, the bag serves a more lasting purpose and you don’t have to worry about having to dispose of all the extra plastic bags. And in the bargain, you’re doing the environment a whole lot of good.
Buy reusable items
Most tourists do not carry a reusable water bottle with them. Instead, they keep buying mineral water in plastic bottles. Then they search for places to dispose these bottles. But you can reduce a lot of plastic wastage if you invest in a durable water bottle which you can refill from time to time. You can also invest in other reusable items like lunch boxes, spoons, cups, shopping bags etc. But take these items with you only if you feel you would need them during your holiday. Avoid single-use items as much as possible.
Keep the waters clean
A holiday trip would ideally include a visit to the waterfalls, lakes, rivers and dams. They become prominent attractions at a destination because of their picturesque beauty and serene atmosphere. Utmost care is taken to maintain the cleanliness of these water bodies. Therefore, tourists should be careful not to tarnish their beauty during their visit. One practical thing you can do is remove your footwear and wash your feet before stepping into the waters. Never litter in or near the waters. If you have kids along, make sure they use the toilet before getting into the waters.
Do not take a leak in public
Everyone needs to accept an absolute universal truth – The roads and footpaths are not for peeing. Only a ridiculously non-sensical person could pee on the roads, making the place dirty and worse yet, stinky. Most tourists, we know, are wise enough not to make this mistake. But the problem comes when kids have to pee. So if you have kids, make sure they use the toilet at the hotel. And while you’re driving, try to lessen their water intake. Also, take regular pee breaks at places where you can find a public toilet.
Keep the beaches free of litter
The beach is probably the most spectacular attraction a tourist destination has to offer. As you walk through the beach with the sun setting in the backdrop and your eyes searching for the ocean’s end, you have an instant connection with nature at that very moment. But the sight of litter on a beach can just ruin the moment for you. The magnificence of a beach is lost when there is litter even in small quantities. Apart from just looking bad, plastic waste can also cause large-scale complications to sea life. So never litter at the beaches. Otherwise, you’re just causing a lot of pain to the environment.
Many tourist destinations feature heritage sites and historic monuments. Sometimes, you may see people vandalising such properties by writing on their walls. Never give in to the temptation of doing that. The locals consider these sites to be a part of their environment. Any type of vandalism can hurt their sentiments as well as spoil the raw beauty of the location. And it’s not just the historic sites. Avoid writing on any public property like bus stops, railways stations, trains, parks etc.
When the environment is unclean, one thing we know is that places and things look bad. We feel somewhat suffocated. But an unclean environment actually has adverse effects on plant and animal life. For example, animals eat the plastic waste around them which they cannot digest, giving rise to serious complications. Sometimes, they get entangled in plastic waste which can cause injury or death. When plants grow close to litter, they do not grow properly in all directions and they are at risk of being poisoned. We do not want our activities to cause harm to nature and wildlife. So do your best to keep the environment clean and tidy.
By keeping the environment clean, we also teach the next generation of adults an important lesson – Respect every place like it’s your own home. Parents must imbibe such values in their kids. The only effective way they can do that is by setting a good example. And hopefully, the next generation will not need a blog like this to know how and why they should keep the environment clean. It would just come naturally to them.
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