Himachal Pradesh is a mountainous area of the western Himalayas and home to nature’s abundance. It embodies an exceptionally rich Himalayan bio-diversity and ecosystem that is equally very fragile. The state is extremely popular worldwide for its lush greenery, lofty mountains, exuberant culture, rustic charm and plenty of hilly destinations.
Tourism is a major source of state’s revenue and hence has been strategically developed as a key revenue-earning sector over the years. But where it lacks is in creating a scope to preserve this fragile eco-system. Yes, many steps have been taken up by the government to make this state eco-friendly and protective of the environment, yet more needs to done and rigorously.
It’s time we adopted eco-tourism as travelers. You should bear the responsibility of travel, by tracing the carbon footprints to a bare minimum. By practicing environment-friendly tips to preserve what nature gave for no extra cost, at all! Yes, it all starts with you travelers and this is how you can make the difference.
Reuse reusable stuff
Bring along reusable stuff that can be washed and reused instead of use-and-throw. Many tourists are seen littering beautiful places with disposable stuff. Bring with you a reusable coffee cup, cutlery, Tupperware, cloth shopping bag, cloth napkin, reusable straw, refillable water bottle and if possible a portable water filter.
Avoid micro-plastics monster
Plastic bags are banned in Himachal. Yet, the plastic waste that comes in shape of small size micro-plastics is a huge menace. It can literally end up spreading in any forms and end up in – drinking water sources, oceans, beaches and seafood.
Often, seemingly harmless products like face wash, body wash, chewing gum, and toothpaste contain “microbeads”. Sometimes, micro-plastic fibers can rub down through synthetic clothing during washing, spread anywhere and everywhere.
To check this micro pollution, always buy products after checking the labels. Buy clothes that are made from natural fibers (e.g. cotton, wool, silk, hemp, linen) as much as possible. If you do need technical gear for trekking and all, which is mostly made from synthetic fibers fo for higher quality. Low quality has greater chances of shedding micro-waste. You can always borrow or rent in place of buying a new one to save resources as well as the environment.
A plastic bottle can travel as far you travel, in fact beyond. But it ends up posing as a huge environmental problem. So the best bet would be to buy a reusable container or preferably drinking safe, but locally sourced water when you’re traveling.
Avoid buying products that have a carbon footprint, i.e. products that have traveled from far off places. Go for local products that are grown and made in the place of travel. However, never buy local souvenirs or other products that are sourced from endangered animals or plants. Firstly, it’s illegal and you’re a liable to punishment, and secondly, you are endangering the ecology.
Hike marked trails
During trekking or hiking travel on marked trails only. Don’t disturb the nature along or going extremely close to the flora and fauna of the region. Instead of dumping the trash in a fragile eco-system – take it along with you or deposit it in the designated area. If you have to light a campfire make it small and only in areas where it is permitted. After using the campfire, be sure to completely extinguish it before leaving.
As a traveler, these are few tips that you can easily follow. Go back to minimalism and focus on preserving the pulsating energy of nature in hills. Practice eco-tourism as a way of life and preserve something for generations to come.