Plastic in Paradise
The call for paradise and being in paradise we often tend to lose the grip of reality while we soak in turquoise waters, dip our feet into the warm sand and bathe in the glory of sun rays. Paradise islands also face a downside to their wonders that tourists should recognize before it might be too late. With every tourist, there are loads of processes that cause residue. There are millions and millions of tourists traveling yearly to the Canary Islands and with that, there are tons of plastic and other waste that is left behind. Because of this the local nature and wildlife suffer immensely, as the trash erupts nature's ecosystem.
Working closely together with Canary Green, a Tenerife-based nonprofit organization that promotes sustainable tourism on the islands, I saw the devastating effects of mass tourism on these beautiful islands. During Canary Green hosted Beach Cleanups, it was an actual wakeup call to see what is happening behind the tourist scene and it was pretty shocking to see how much plastic there in the ocean that washes to the shores that are away from the tourist's eye. Poris in Tenerife is a great example of how tons of plastic float through currents from Santa Cruz into the cliffsides of the beaches of Poris. We found a massive amount of plastic in between rocks and accumulated microplastic that you could dig out like sand and fill bags with microplastic. It was really sad to realize that the majority of tourists and also locals don't really think about the consequences of their daily consumption. This visible trend was visible in all beach cleanups we visited and hosted. The island governments push hard on sustainability and try their best to support all businesses that try to take any steps towards sustainability.
But at the end of the day, the key is in our own hands how we want to shape these islands for our future generations on this planet. Every carbon footprint we take and every move we make determines the outcome. So why not pick sustainable choices and support businesses that drive sustainability? I was part of building a sustainable travel guide together with Canary Green called Discover Canary Islands, Its mission is to give tourists an alternative way to travel on this beautiful Spanish Archipelago. You can find activities, accommodations, restaurants, and much more on this travel guide and the fun part is that you can do everything that you could be doing all the things you wanted to do on your trip, but sustainably. Amazing isn't it? You can go surfing, paragliding, whale watching, stay in a fancy hotel or Finca, and eat out in a five-star hotel without missing anything, but with peace of mind and a greener footprint.
But also, why not take a hands-on approach to save our planet, and its species and restore nature? Participating in local beach cleanup initiatives or even your initiative while visiting the beach during your holiday can have a huge impact on the nature around you. If everyone would be mindful to pick up plastic, cigarette buds, or any form of litter and would actively see that you too recycle we can already strive for greater environmental change.
Here are some tips for your next vacation and holiday abroad or at home that helps the planet:
Always put waste where it belongs, in a bin, and recycle when possible!
If you see plastic, cigarette buds, or any other form of litter around you, please find a bin for it. This might save a species' life.
Avoid drinking plastic bottled water. If you can refill a bottle with filtrated water or from a large canister makes a huge difference in the long run!
Choose sustainable brands, companies, and products. Because by supporting them you support the environment, and you can be happy to know they do the part for you while you enjoy your holidays!
Use Environmentally friendly products such as shampoos, creams, and sunscreens to name a few!
Join local sustainable projects, planting trees, beach cleanups, etc.
Initiate your friends to become sustainable with you!
Encourage businesses with sustainable choices.
Choose and support local products and businesses.
Avoid plastic products by all means.
Leave only beautiful memories and your footprints in the sand behind you when you leave paradise and oasis!
Every small step you take towards sustainability helps mother earth to recover!
Let's not take our paradise and oasis for granted! It takes a small step to make a huge difference collectively, and we all can reap great benefits from it. As we do our part, we hope you will do yours! That's why I highly encourage everyone to give back to our nature by participating in beach cleanups and other pro-nature events to keep our surroundings flourishing and as a beautiful heritage for future generations to come. There is no shame in helping our beautiful earth recover and flourish!