Plastic, garbage, bad smell, dirty water, and polluted air are everywhere. You experience this either in the town you live in or in the holiday spot, hill station, popular places, and beaches you visit.
Who is responsible for all these? It is everyone who is enjoying modern convenience. Yes, our current traveling practices are one of the biggest contributors to this problem. After experiencing the beauty of nature we are leaving so much carbon footprint there that this problem is becoming untenable.
Recently, Chetan Bhagat wrote an article where he suggests “cancel your hill holiday”, and he rightfully points out that “too much tourism has stripped the beauty from our mountain towns”. Well, everything written in the article is true but asking people to stop or cancel the hill station holiday is not a feasible ask. A holiday plays a very important role in everyone’s life, and staying away from a holiday is quite difficult.
Keeping a public place neat and tidy has to be everyone’s responsibility as a public place belongs to the public. Asking people to stop something from doing, never works. Instead, trying an alternative that helps them could be an efficient option. Here are some basic responsibilities everyone can follow during their travels. The following responsibilities are about the concerns Chethan Bhagat has raised in his article.
- If you find a traffic jam, get off the car and see if you can fix it. Help the vehicles that have got stuck and clear the traffic. This is proven right in cities and towns’ traffic jams.
- Make sure you park your car in the right place and help your neighbor's car park in a straight line, at least one car can be helped.
- Everyone at hill stations craves crunchy snacks. If you are buying a chips packet, carry all the wrappers throughout your trip and hand them over to dry waste collectors or recyclers in your city/town. This helps in the segregation of waste easily and doesn’t cause a burden to the workers at hill stations.
- If your kid asks for a toy either convince them about the lack of quality or buy a toy. But, compromise yourself by not buying a chips packet, or by taking a walk instead of hiring a cab.
- If you are worried about the environment, carry reusables with you to avoid disposables. A tumbler to avoid paper cups, reusable spoons to avoid plastic/disposable spoons, a plate or bowl to avoid disposable plates, extra dabba to carry leftover food and not ask for plastic or foil to pack food, napkins to avoid tissues, water bottles to avoid packaged bottles.
- If you have a baby or a toddler who requires diapers, try switching to cloth diapers. Disposable diapers end up in a landfill and take 300+ years to biodegrade. Why throw them away on a beautiful hill station? The soiled diapers can be carried in a wet bag to avoid odor.
- If you know you are going to menstruate during your trips, carry cloth pads or menstrual cups with you to avoid buying disposable pads on a holiday. Disposable pads are not good for your body.
Every Instagram video is neither right nor wrong. We capture only what we like. For example, travel blogger A takes a video of beautiful landscapes whereas travel blogger B takes a video of the waste people have littered. Both the videos are true only but the view from the mind changes.
To ensure a good travel experience each one of us has to travel responsibly.