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Cynthia Madison posted a blog entry in Environmental decline is at an all-time high – what can YOU do about it?People feel more and more determined to go green because they are aware it's their role to change the world, they're living in. Pollution and climate change triggered some extreme, tragic events that destroyed both life and nature. From record heat in Europe to floods in the USA and fires in Australia, they are all consequences of human actions. It's shocking to find out that a small choice you make in your everyday life can trigger a chain of reactions and lead the planet a step closer to collapse. The environmental issues the world is experiencing will always be a hot subject due to their ever-changing characteristics. But during the last years, there was registered a shift that showed people are ready to take responsibility for their actions and make changes. 2019 was about sustainability stories that inspired everyone to get involved in a movement they supported in silence until now. Without further introduction, here are some of the most exciting sustainability stories we witnessed in 2019. Greta Thunberg made the climate protest movement explode Before Greta, climate change protesters made a buzz around the idea, but they never managed to draw global attention. When Time Magazine named the young activist their Person of the Year, she was the youngest to get this title, but also one of the most controversial figures. Greta first introduced herself to the public in 2018, and she quickly started a global movement because she was not afraid to speak truth to power and engage her followers in diverse subjects. She used social media as a tool to draw attention to the problems the planet is facing and educate young people in becoming the leaders of the green movement. Her influence is so strong she convinced tens of thousands of Belgian teens to march weekly to the EU headquarters in Brussels. On 15 March 2019, she encouraged people to march in various locations worldwide, and over 15 million participants joined the movement. In September she also drew attention towards the bad choices, world leaders make when she decided to travel by boat to the UN climate meeting and shame the ones who opted for flight solutions. Greta proves that Gen Z young people are more than ready to lead the way in environmental actions and come up with strategies to lower the level of pollution and destruction. Activists pointed out the seriousness of the climate crisis through distressed messages For many years, environmentalists didn't show the accurate results the climate crisis has on the planet because they were afraid the public would find them too depressing. But as the problem evolved and people refused to understand its extent, they had to go with the gloom and doom. When David Wallace Wells published the book The Unhabitable Earth, he made sure the facts he presented will panic the readers and show what really happens if the planet is warming more than it already did. The scientific community weighed in the ups and downs of sharing with the public how harmful the effects of pollution and climate change are. Still, they concluded that it's best people to know the threats that endanger their existence, than living with the misconception Earth will remain a safe planet no matter what their actions are. The Unhabitable Earth showed that the future could bring some apocalyptic scenarios. If humans continue to change the planet's land to adapt to their ever-growing demands without considering the long-term effects, they will threaten global food security and the planet's ability to capture carbon. If they don't lower the amount of trash, they dispose they will endanger ocean life and bring extinction to plants and animals. The only solution to avoid this outcome is to cut emissions. People and companies have started to take notice of their effect on the planet. They are slowly integrating green practices and use social media and the Internet to point how significant change is. Companies use video content to share their measures and inspire the public to follow their example. They use videos to describe the effects specific actions have and recommend solutions. They try to educate their clients through example. Governments joined the green movement Two significant measures marked 2019, the USA created the Green New Deal's legal environment, and the EU's Green Deal listed its circular economy principles. Some people state that these measures are still not enough to improve the environmental landscape, and they are right, but they put the base for other changes that will support change. The new regulations support brands worldwide to adopt green practices. We will list some examples to show that the world is facing towards sustainability. CleanO2 created a device named CARBiNX that traps CO2 emissions and transforms them into potash to make detergents and soap. Lush Cosmetics is another company that uses technology to lower CO2 emissions in their manufacturing processes. Lyft has joined the Green Cities Initiative that encourages companies to switch to electric cars. Companies like Lyft have a significant impact on the environment because they run fleets worldwide and generate emissions higher than other brands. Lyft has started to replace its old cars with eco-friendly alternatives and allows clients to request a green vehicle using the Green Mode feature. IKEA is another worldwide famous brand that adopted the green initiative. They created a project named A Sustainable Everyday that aims to replace single-use plastic items with disposables made from recyclable materials. Considering that plastic is one of the greatest problems the planet is dealing with, any initiative that promotes plastic cut is more than welcomed. The above names prove that government regulations enabled them to adopt bolder decisions and switch to sustainable leadership. It's expected in 2020 that companies can use their political influence and have a more aggressive role in climate policy. Magazines like Vogue already announced they would use their power to reach companies and individuals and lower the footprint of apparel by educating their audiences.
Cynthia Madison posted a blog entry in Environmental decline is at an all-time high – what can YOU do about it?Traveling far and wide has never been easier. When the urge to wander kicks in, you can now hop on a plane and the next thing you know you’re miles away from civilization and life as you know it. Maybe you’ll have to change a few transport means in between, but eventually you’re going to reach your destination. We’ve all become modern day explorers and there’s not much this planet can hide from us anymore. Let’s take a look at some numbers to put things into perspective. The total contribution of travel and tourism to global economy amounted to 9.25tr USD in 2019. In the same year, 4.715 billion USD were spent in global leisure tourism and in 2018 approximately 1.4 billion international tourist arrivals were recorded. What do these figures tell us? That we travel a lot. But while scouring the earth and discovering new places, cultures and experiences is a great way to nurture your spirit and broaden your horizons, it can also take a serious toll on the environment. That’s why sustainable travel has come into focus in recent years, as an alternative to traditional tourism. While we travel, we must also think of how our actions affect the planet and find ways to minimize the impact on the environment, so that generations to come can also enjoy this world’s wonders. So here are some tips you can think of in-between takeoff and landing if you want to travel green and go from average tourist to superhero ecotourist. Don’t follow the hype There are some destinations that attract tourists like a magnet. Every year millions of travelers flock to hyped locations as if there were no other places on earth left to visit. It’s quite tempting to follow the pack and see for yourself what they have to offer, but as wonderful as these destinations might be, the crowds, the hustle and bustle, the hours spent waiting in line to see certain attractions take away some of their beauty. And what’s most important, their ecosystems are already under a lot of stress due to the high number of visitors, which means they really need a time out from tourists. So instead of adding to the numbers you can choose less popular places and give those hyper visited locations a well-deserved break. Do your homework When visiting a new place it’s always a good idea to learn a few essential things about it before you get there. Each destination has unique features and it’s worth getting as informed as possible so you can understand how you should behave once you are there and what you can do to protect them from damage. Learning about local specificities, local culture and the communities you’ll come in contact with will help you become more aware of your surroundings. By practicing empathy you’ll be able to connect better with the environment and enjoy your travel adventures while also caring both for your safety and for the planet. Respect the wildlife Wild animals are meant to live unbothered in their natural environments and not be used as means of entertainment for tourists. Unfortunately, in many popular destinations you’ll see wild animals in captivity, trained to do tricks for tourists. Don’t take part in wildlife shows or attractions if you don’t want to encourage these cruel practices. Watching animals in their natural habitat is a unique experience, but you must make sure that your presence doesn’t disturb the wildlife. For example, if you want to go dolphin watching in the Algarve, choose a professional tour operator that follows local regulations and has high ethical standards regarding wildlife protection. Before adventuring into the wild, remember that wild animals are not pets, so refrain from feeding them even if they seem friendly and cute, and when buying souvenirs, make sure they don’t come from animal sources. Choose your transport wisely How you travel is also important. Planes might be the fastest way to get to your dream destination, but they’re far from being eco-friendly. If you can, take the longer route and travel by train, bus or ferry. If you don’t have these options, the least you could do is book non-stop flights as they use less fuel. Of course, in an ideal world we would all cycle our way around the world, and while you can’t use a bicycle as your exclusive transport method, you could include it in some parts of your journey. And when the odds are against you, public transportation is the second-best choice. Look for eco-friendly accommodation Hotel chains are not the greatest option if you’re looking for sustainable practices. Fortunately, they’re not the only type of accommodation available, so do your research and try to find an eco-friendlier alternative that will suit your ecotourism principles and your budget. Chances are you’ll be able to find smaller, independent accommodations that are much more in sync with nature and you’ll also have the chance to get a feel of the local community. If you’re lucky enough, you could come across organic farms or eco-lodges that promote a sustainable lifestyle and are actively involved in environmental conservation. Buy local Supporting the local economy is another way to get involved in ecotourism. Don’t eat at famous fast-food chains just because you’re familiar with the menu. Since you’re not at home, try something different and get a taste of the local cuisine. You could eat at family-run diners in the local community or, even better, you could check out the local grocery shops, buy fresh products and prepare your own food if you have the possibility. As for shopping, you could always roam all the small local shops and buy as many souvenirs as you like for everyone at home, but make sure they come from local sources and were not imported from some other place half-way around the world.
New year’s day is resolutions time and normally, I wouldn’t make any. However, since a couple of years ago, I re-started the trend and surprisingly, they kind of worked. This is why this year, I am making a new batch of resolutions to start the year right and keep me going until the end of the year. This time around, my focus is on green resolutions. Go Organic For months I have been wanting to adapt a healthier lifestyle and going organic. Some people think that going organic is expensive. But there is a less expensive way to do this. You can grow your own vegetable garden and just harvest what you need from there. If going organic is a little bit more expensive than your usual food choices, you can make adjustments and cut back on some of your unnecessary expenses so you can invest more in your health. Remember, health is wealth and the earlier we embrace a healthier lifestyle, the happier we will be. Go Green Going organic doesn’t just pertain to food choices, it can also mean going green, choosing options that have less or zero impact on the environment. These days, I have been more conscious of the things that I am using. I try to use cleaners with natural ingredients rather than those with harsh chemicals. I also pay more attention now to biodegradable and recyclable labels on items. These choices are not only healthier for you but also for our environment. Go Green Travel One of the things that can inspire you--if you have not gone green yet--is the magnificent grandeur of mother nature. This year I want to travel to places that showcase this glorious beauty and places where people caring for the environment has managed to help protect this natural wonder. A friend of mine who recently visited Hawaii has often told me of the peoples’ efforts there in conserving wildlife and its environment. It must be a very beautiful place to visit. If you are planning to travel green, just remember to always take travel insurance. There are insurance companies such as Seven Corners that have plans to fit whatever traveler’s needs or budget. I hope that others too will embark on journeys that will help them to discover the gift of nature’s beauty and hopefully inspire them to embark on their own quest to help preserve the environment. What’s your green resolution for this year?