Everywhere we go, we are greeted with the beauty of the natural world and the charm of the world’s cultures. However, this beauty and charm are tempered with the impact of human consumption and waste that also greets us everywhere we go. It constantly reminds us of the fragility of our planet and the carelessness of its people.
The greatest effect of this carelessness is on its waterways. As a result, industrial effluent pollutes its rivers and lakes, while plastic litter poisons its oceans and aquatic life. At the same time, increasingly sophisticated and destructive fishing practices have collapsed many of the species in its seas. Similarly, the world’s carbon-fueled economies continue to warm the oceans, further damaging coral reefs and other marine environments. Meanwhile, governments commit to voluntary and non-binding emissions targets.
But, it’s not all bad. The world and its oceans still offer a great deal of fascination, intrigue, adventure and romance that can be discovered in a responsible and productive manner. With some effort, we can improve ourselves by traveling the world, while leaving the people and places we visit in a better condition than we found them.