Conserve our Natural Environment
What is the Natural Environment
The natural environment is all living and non-living things that occur naturally on earth. Although this does incorporate humans, in this instance think of the earth in its purest form without human activity or intervention, what would be left behind.
It encompasses the ecological systems such as vegetation, land, soil, and natural resources of sun, air and water. All of which provide natural services and facilitate many processes that help life to flourish on earth, and contribute to human wellbeing.
Our planet is made up of two types of ecosystems being terrestrial (land based) and aquatic (water based). Regardless if land or water based, all ecosystems thrive or decline based on various factors being species interactions, organism interactions and their environment. All factors in an ecosystem are dependent on another and if altered affects the entire ecosystem.
Everything we do in life, which includes when travelling, should relate back to our natural environment, as without it, we would not survive as a species. Imagine living in a world with no natural running water, with no trees or vegetation, and with no wildlife or insects amongst us. It sounds like a pretty barren, dry and boring planet to live on.
soil, vegetation, sun, air, water
We can sometimes travel with a short mindset, as we don’t live at a destination we don’t see the long term impacts travellers and people can have on the physical environment. We may think we can walk off the track as it’s only me, however if you’re thinking that, it’s likely other travellers are thinking and behaving in the same manner.
We need to be aware of the natural environment surrounding us and learn how we can live in harmony together.
When it comes to water usage, tourists use twice as much water than local residents, which could be relative to their water usage in their homeland, or they think I’m on holidays so I can use more water. People also think we have an unlimited source of water as the earth is made up of 70% of the earth surface, yet that doesn’t mean water is always accessible. Especially when it comes to certain destinations, natural water can be very rare and requires high management and monitoring to ensure residents and tourists can maintain an acceptable water consumption.
If we don’t protect, conserve and regenerate our natural environment, we will lose our natural resources of water, food and fuel supplies, therefore negatively impacting our lives.
As the human population grows, so does our consumption and demand of natural resources, so it’s an ongoing cycle as we increase in numbers, so does the likelihood of destroying our natural environment, unless we make a change on how we live our lives.
People don’t always realise the importance of biodiversity and how all living species are entwined to ensure a well sustained life for every living being on Earth. From tiny fungi, to bees, to urban trees, the list is endless of how human life as we know it will not survive without biodiversity.
Protect, conserve and regenerate
How can I Help?
There has been an ongoing focus to protect our natural environment over many years, and it is no different when we travel. We should make conscious decisions that first protect the natural environment we are physically in and ensure we conserve the natural state. Then we can go one step better, to regenerate it to an improved state than how we found it.
Does your holiday plans positively or negatively impact the natural environment? See if you can adjust your plans slightly on how or where you travel based on your findings, could you also improve the natural environment when you’re there?
Try to book accommodation, attractions and tours that focus on the protection of the natural environment, in lieu of others that don’t. More destinations and countries as a whole, are becoming aware of their impact on the environment, and making adjustments along the way to ensure positive changes are made. Such as Norway’s friluftsliv “outdoor life” philosophy of a way of life.
Consider taking the time to read the CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) of organisations, accommodation and tour operators to read their ethical position, which is mostly found on their website at the footer under ‘About Us’.
How does your trip impact the natural environment?
National Ocean Service “Earth Day”