It’s no secret how much I love to travel. It offers endless culture, language, food, adventure, and the perspective that can only be found when you step out of your comfort zone. I have never been a big fan of cities though. They have plenty to offer, just like travel itself, but cities are too crowded and complicated for my liking (especially long term). One of the things I love most about traveling is being able to experience all of the nature. I’ve been lucky enough to explore nine countries, each with its own allure, and I can tell you one thing for sure: the earth is a magical place.
To honor the magic of the places I’ve visited, and the countless ones I have yet to see, I am trying to treat the planet better. For me, that includes recycling, turning off the faucet when I brush my teeth, turning off lights and unplugging appliances whenever possible, buying natural foods and products, and eating a vegetarian diet (raising animals for food produces more greenhouse gas emissions than all forms of transportation combined). I haven’t always been this passionate about saving the earth, but I am now. Change starts when you decide it does. I love this planet. I want to leave it better than I found it. But I cannot do it alone. That’s why I urge each of you to think about your impact on the planet too.
Not sure where to start? You don’t have to singlehandedly remove all of the plastic pollution from the oceans in one afternoon (though that’d be pretty cool). Tonight, join 7,000 cities and towns across 172 countries in turning off your lights from 8:30 to 9:30pm, local time, to help show your commitment to the planet. Earth Hour is a worldwide movement organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature that encourages everyone to turn off all non-essential lights for one hour. Sixty minutes may not seem like much, but every little bit can help.
After tonight’s Earth Hour, what else can you do? Instead of devoting an hour every single day to going lights-out, simply turn off the lights any time you leave a room. (Though if you want to go lights-out for an hour a day, that’d be pretty cool too!) Switch out old light bulbs for compact fluorescents or LEDs. Unplug computers, TVs and other electronics, and chargers when not in use. Choose renewable power like solar or wind. Talk to your political representatives and the media, and tell them you want immediate action on climate change. The list of small changes you can make is endless, and every bit helps.
I want to be able to continue exploring the oceans and forests. To climb mountains and dangle my feet over the cliffs’ edges. To see sunrises and sunsets on every continent. To uncover hidden roads and forge my own paths. I want to wander through towns and cities and ruins and parks, to take every adventure this planet can afford me. However, I won’t be able to do all of these magical things if the earth falls victim to climate change. I hope that we can come together to fight for a better future, a better planet, for ourselves and many, many generations ahead of us.
What are your favorite ways to go (and stay) green? Where have your greatest adventures taken place? Let me know!