Environmental sins – about mindfulness on vacation

Most of us try to act environment-friendly in our daily life: we separate our waste, avoid plastic bags and ride the bike whenever possible. But especially when it comes to vacations, sometimes you might wonder, if people leave their green conscious at home or if they just don’t know it any better. We did some research on how the „little“ environmental sins effect nature and present two examples on how to do it right.

Waste belongs into the bin

Ok, ok, that’s old news and most people don’t dispose their plastic waste in the nature. Nevertheless this applies also for alleged biodegradable garbage: Did you know that, depending on the climate conditions, banana peels (as well as the peels of many other (sub)tropical fruits, e.g. oranges) need up to five years to completely decay? Even though this is rather an aesthetic problem, it takes much too long to simply leave it behind.

The white spots in the bushes

Especially those who love hiking will have noticed the paper tissues that lie merely hided in the bushes and were probably used as toilet paper by other wanderers. But it’s only paper and therefor degrades fast anyway, right? Well, not really. The production of paper tissues includes the use of different kinds of chemicals, for example chlorine. Additionally for the „new generation“ of paper tissues a wet strength agent is applied that makes it more stable when exposed to water. Depending on the climatic conditions again, it takes severals months for them to really rot.

Watch out, smokers!

Butts make up for a large percentage of the waste that is thrown away carelessly: estimated up to 4.5 trillion cigarette butts every year! The negative impact for the environment is growing. The filter consists out of plastic cellulose acetat and needs up to five years to decay. On top of that it contains a lot of toxic ingredients that are very harmful for animals and plants. Studies show that a single cigarette butt in one litre of water is enough to kill half of the fish population living there.

Best practice: recycling and upcycling on the Maldives

Handling the waste is especially difficult for islands and even harder if they welcome a lot of tourists like the Maldives do. Reethi Beach Resort is one of the leading resorts on the Maldives when it comes to waste: they tackle the problem from the ground up by reducing the waste production. Therefor they use reusable glass bottles for drinking water and with that save more than 400 PET bottles every day. That is pretty impressive! Additionally the resort engages in upcycling and try to find a new use for old and unused things whenever possible.

Join the movement – become a trash hero!

The trash heroes were founded in Thailand and they collect waste whenever they see it: it doesn’t matter where, when and how much it is. To initiate a sustainable change in the society, they also organize educational projects in schools to raise awareness for this issue among children and help communities with their waste management as well as future waste reduction. Trash heroes have expanded to many different countries as Indonesia and Malaysia but you can join the movement everywhere!

Even though these environmental sins might often happen due to no being aware or ignorant rather than bad intention, we all can (and should) contribute to a waste-free nature by simply taking our waste back home with us. In doing so we do not only contribute to a healthy ecosystem but make sure that future generations enjoy the same pure nature as we did.