If you are a seasoned traveler, backpacker, or hiker, you must be aware of the saying: “Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints, and kill nothing but time.”
Sometimes, we get too engrossed with our desire to have a great time that we forget that we responsible for taking care of the environment for the future generations to come. The statement above simply encapsulates that responsibility.
You do not need to spend hundreds of dollars to become good stewards of Mother Nature and have unforgettable experiences in return, all you have to do is follow these steps:
1. TAKING NOTHING BUT PICTURES
Bringing a piece of nature’s paradise from your trip may seem like a good idea at first. But it is not! Keeping a bottle of Boracay, Philippines’ glorious white sands would only tarnish its beauty. Commercial establishments had already taken up some of the island’s resources; do you want to continue what they started?
To ensure that untouched destinations such as Penghu Islands (Taiwan) and Yaeyama Islands (Japan) are maintained, it is important to take pictures and nothing else. Besides, getting “souvenirs” without permission can be punishable by the laws of that country. You would not want to pay a hefty fine!
2. LEAVING NOTHING BUT FOOTPRINTS
In 20 years, I picture a world filled with diverse species that are vividly scattered across the globe! I think you want to share the same vision too. I mean…would you rather see majestic birds fly through the air or birds covered with dirt due to an unfortunate oil spill?
It is our obligation to leave nothing but shoe (not carbon) footprints wherever we go. For instance, if you want to go snorkeling in Thailand’s Ko Lipe, do not forget to throw your trash in the rubbish bin and not in its beautiful waters. Do not carve your “couple name” on the walls either as vandalizing can ruin historical landmarks. Simply, do your best to contribute to the cleanliness of the place you are visiting.
3. KILLING NOTHING BUT TIME
Ambon (Indonesia) was an essential island during the heyday of the Dutch East India Company because it was used as a source of spices. Aside from spices, Ambon is famous for their eels. Imagine if people would pay to kill those eels? Fortunately, they do not!
However, that is not the case in Africa. People pay Africans to get the tusks of the helpless elephants in order to sell them internationally. Believe it or not, thousands of elephants are being killed each year for their tusks! When you purchase ivory necklaces, you may not be the one holding the knife but you just promoted the market for the illegal killings. Let us face it; do you really need that ivory tusk necklace or that tortoise-shell keychain?
So please, while enjoying your travels, kill nothing but negativity and time.