Updated: October 7, 2014 3:21:46 pm
I remember a story of a trek way back in 1980s to a glacier in the Uttarakhand region called Pindari. It was undertaken by my friends and when they came back they were crestfallen. They narrated the story of piles of garbage and they could trace their way to the glacier just by following the littered garbage along the trail.
The entire scenic beauty was tarnished by the mindless human intervention. Since then we have heard many stories of such mindlessness about the tourists who go to these pristine areas and then desecrate them by littering waste. Mount Everest today is struggling with growing waste and many tourist destinations in India are waking up to the adverse impact of rising number of tourists.
Tourism, per se, however, is not bad. It’s the attitude of the visitor that can make or mar the place or the experience. If we all keep few basics in mind we will not only enjoy the beauty of the place but also help in maintaining it.
While travelling to hill stations it is of paramount importance that we resist the temptation of using plastic. Many hilly regions have laws that prohibit the use of plastic as it chokes water channels and interferes with the natural rhythms of the nature. A tourist should respect that.
Similarly, trekkers defecate in the open as there are no toilets on the trekking route, but the right way is to be away from a water channel and after relieving yourself cover it with mud. This way you will not contaminate the water channel.
While visiting the forests, it’s of paramount importance that they should insist on vehicles that don’t generate loud noise. They should also say no to stay in hotels that have flouted the green norms around the reserved forests or national parks. The yearning to pick up logs, stones, pebbles, or plants and in extreme cases the local dog species etc should be curbed. These things are a part of the eco-system and are there for a reason. They may look exotic in your living room but have no other use except for ornamental value. At times by doing this you also promote the spread of invasive species in your area which is not good for the bio-diversity of your own region.
While along the coastal line it really feels good to be staying in a sea facing hotel but one should always be careful and check well in advance whether they are flouting the coastal zoning norms by encroaching on the sea beach. An aware tourist can be a great harbinger of change in environmental attitude. The awareness will not only save the environment but also force businesses to change their ways.
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