In the ecotourism microcosm and the green world in general, we speak a lot of green transportation, greener choices, polluting less, and so on. Switch to a hybrid, offset the carbon footprint of your flights when going on vacation, and so on and so forth.
Honestly, some of the best things you can do are:
(a) Stay home!
(c) Ride a bike, rollerblade, skateboard, and so on
(d) Swim-and always leave the motorboats and jet skis in the store (think of the coral reefs, sea turtles, etc., whose populations are diminished yearly by these machines)
(e) Did I mention stay home?
Think of what would happen if we actually stuck to these principles. Because, you know, it’s we who are polluting and ruining the planet. We-privileged, middle-to-upper class people with access to the internet and enough education and spare time to inform and educate ourselves about ecological issues. We are the ones with enough money to travel and the resources that allow us to choose how and when we will do it.
Not indigenous tribes in Venezuela, in the Amazon Forest, the sort of people who coexist harmoniously with their green surroundings. And we can’t ask the poor women in South Jordan to switch to energy-saving light bulbs, the raped women refugees in eastern Congo to implement low-flush toilets, or those left homeless in Tartagal to incorporate solar panels into their homes when if they get to rebuild them.
But we can ask our friends to be more conscientious in their choices-because they have choices-when they shop, travel, use electricity, eat, discard, and even when they vote if we spread the word about key bills and laws and work together to support or protest against them.
Pick up trash if you see it in the street and take it home to recycle or at least toss it in a trash can. Reuse containers instead of throwing them away and buying new ones. Cut down and eventually abolish meat and animal products from your diet. Get your lighting fixtures taken care of if they don’t take energy-saving bulbs. Stop buying Cif and bleach and switch to vinegar, baking soda, and alcohol for all your home cleaning needs. Turn off and unplug all appliances when not in use.
And on and on.
If you, who gets to choose and make changes, don’t, then you can’t complain when, several years from now, you find yourself having to move out of Florida and into a home farther from the coast and higher and higher than sea level. And don’t even start about how first class has gotten more expensive-focus on what’s important. Green travel is no travel unless it’s on foot, bike, or by other ecological means.
Let’s help people walk the talk.