He- “What do you hear when you wake up in the morning?”

She- “I hear the birds chirping”

He was ruffled… He asked her another question “What do you see when you wake up in the morning?”

She- “I see parrots flying all over my terrace and i cant help but smile and follow each flock of parrots. They seem so happy to see me and they dance around in the sky, making different formations and it looks like a disney playing out in front of me!”

The boy coyly asks “Isn’t that the reason why you send me a Good Morning message so late?” She chuckled and confessed to him… He smiled as he knew how much she loved nature and how they had made plans to wander into the woods during summer vacation but had to stay put due to Corona Virus lockdown.

Click here to know how Corona virus has hit the Travel industry: http://bnbnation.com/blog/coronavirus/

All of us have noticed that Corona Virus has brought our lives to a halt and made us sit at home and do nothing. While we were spending 10 hours at home, out of which 7 hours were for sleeping, now we are made to spend 24 hours at home. While we were having at least one meal outside in the mall, now Corona has brought us to the level that we are scared to get even a home delivery of essential items! We were ignoring our family that would have stood by us through thick and thin on the premise of slogging for earning more money and now we are at home, working at home with the baby in our lap and the partner beside us! As a result of our daily unending work related chores, there have been major environmental disasters in the past that we have conveniently ignored and marched on with our work:

World’s worst Environmental Disasters:

At this moment, it serves as a good reminder to revisit the World’s worst man-made environmental disasters. I am sure we all know these disasters and thus, I dont wish to go into detail into how they occured but they did cause a stir all over the world! Each of them has not just caused loss of human lives but also the flora and fauna around them.

  1. Chernobyl Nuclear power plant disaster | 1986 | Ukraine
  2. Bhopal Gas Tragedy | 1984 | India
  3. Kuwaiti Oil Fires | 1991 | Kuwait
  4. Exxon Valdez | 1989 | USA
  5. Minamata Disease | 1956 | Japan
  6. Deepwater Horizon oil spill | 2010 | Gulf of Mexico

I am sure there are many more that i have not listed above but the point remains the same: Unabated Technology-driven Human actions have led to environmental degradation and suffering of the mankind.

Please note that the disasters listed above, are the ones that managed to grab eyeballs and media glare due to the impact and effect. There are many places that have been adversely affected by human actions due to manufacturing, travel and tourism and other services-related purposes.

Mt. Nanda Devi of Himalayas
Source: Wikimedia commons Creator: Sumod Mohan K

One such example that comes to my mind is Degradation of Himalayas. There have been recurring reports of humans conducting expeditions to Himalayas and there is no way to dispose off human waste and faeces:
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-48484689

What makes Earth day 2020 special?

Inception

As mentioned on https://www.earthday.org/earth-day-2020/ , Earth Day has been celebrated since 1970.

Objective

They desire that all the countries, no matter how much carbon footprint they produce, should adhere to the national commitments to the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate change. The collective global ambition is to tackle the climate crisis through a people-cum-macro level actions at the global level. Furthermore, at the end of 2020, nations will be expected to increase their national commitments to the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change.

Impact

It had led to passage of landmark environmental laws in the United States, including the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts. Many countries soon adopted similar laws, and in 2016, the United Nations chose Earth Day as the day to sign the Paris Climate Agreement. and is celebrated by a passionate set of eminent individuals who have joined hands to raise awareness about the adverse effects of Climate change.

Unless every country in the world steps up – and steps up with urgency and ambition — we are consigning current and future generations to a dangerous future.

https://www.earthday.org/earth-day-2020/

Environmental Laws in India

  • The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986
  • The Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980
  • The Wildlife Protection Act, 1972
  • Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974
  • Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981
  • The Indian Forest Act, 1927

Theme of World Earth day 2020

Climate Change is the theme for this year’s Earth day 2020. Can it be more explanatory?

Why we need to wake up to the challenges posed by Climate Change:

We face the following challenges due to climate change:

  1. Air and Water pollution- We have been living unsustainably for far too long to realise this. However, actually our daily lives involve enormous amount of Carbon emission. It is visible in the form of smog, higher level of PPM, Depletion of ozone layer resulting into respiratory diseases and shorter life span, polluted rivers etc.
  2. Deforestation– Now, what happens when you emit so much of carbon and put so much pressure on the scarce natural resources? You need a carbon sink which is in the form of forests. However, in the urge to up the ante on development, we have been cutting down forests and trees! The most prominent example is the Australian bushfires which occurred earlier this year.
  3. Species Extinction- As Australian fires have proved, we need to preserve our flora and fauna. Some of the videos that went viral during bushfires were heart wrenching and shows how environment can wreak havoc. 1 out of 10 plant and animal species will get extinct by 2050. This number is really big though seems small right now.
  4. Overpopulation- Mother earth can support 10 billion people. However, there are 7.7 billion people on earth and by 2050, we’ll be 9.7 billion inhabitants. If that wasn’t bad enough, we shall be 11 billion by 2100.

I know, I know, this is a travel and hospitality blog and we are talking about things that are way too serious for all of us.

BnBNation World Earth Day post on Instagram

However, during this period of global lockdown faced with travel restrictions, we as travelers and travel enthusiasts should utilise this time to rethink our traveling ways. Wherever we plan to travel next, our first priority should be how to lower the carbon footprint, how to use as less natural resources as possible and how to involve ourselves with the local population. Can we indulge with them by living in their homes and for some days living like them even if it doesn’t suit us? I mean it’s only for a few days but the memories shall be for a life time.

When we tick the next destination in our bucket list, can we cook with the local host in their kitchen (of course, if they allow!). I know for sure that i cant cook even for staying alive but i’m sure you may be knowing a thing or two about cooking. So a nice small conversation in the kitchen would serve as an ice breaker with the host and lead to a new dish (and a new taste). I am sure you would remember that cooking session for years to come!

Learn to cook Indian dishes with BnBNation
Learn to cook Indian dishes with BnBNation

When it comes to traveling sustainably, we must keep in mind to travel locally as much as possible. Traveling by Air is sometimes needed but can be avoided intra country. Traveling by government / social transport offers much more level of interactivity and enhances the experience. If you like to observe people and their habits, i’m sure you would love to travel by a local train or a local bus or in a group. I can watch people and gauge the expressions and understand what pleases them and what doesn’t. When i had undertaken a few foreign trips, I would love to observe anxious faces (dressed up in formals and heading over to a interview maybe) or contended grandmothers (maybe they were going to meet their grandchildren), and the list goes on. A swift ride on the plane wouldn’t have given me as much to observe!

UK resident Margaret (fondly called Maggie) prefers Bed and Breakfast over a hotel.

As opposed to staying in hotels and living a luxurious life, you can think about staying in a nice, cosy, warmly hosted Bed and Breakfast accommodation. Previously, when BnBNation has hosted travelers, the reviews have been good and very encouraging. The travelers have gone back with the memories of meeting a family in India, not a host.

Dussehra with a BnB Host: http://bnbnation.com/blog/dussehra2017/

I hope that through my blog post, you would have been able to appreciate what Mother Earth offers to us and how we must do everything in our capacity to preserve it. As a traveler, if we can just jot down things NOT TO DO on our next trip and adhere to those points, I think the purpose of my writing this blog post will be served. Let’s pray to this beautiful Mother Earth and do our bit to conserve its scarce natural resources.


Ambuj Saxena

Ambuj Saxena is passionate about all things digital! He likes to travel and explore new culture and places. He likes writing blogs and likes chasing people to make them read the blogs too! Of late, he has been concentrating on providing a social media strategy for a few travel and hospitality companies. His co-authored book, 'Indian BnBs: An emerging disruptor in the Hospitality sector' has received enormous response and has been adopted as a course book in Tourism and Hospitality courses in prominent universities of India such as Jammu University, Jamia Millia Islamia university and Ambedkar university. A 2013 Brand Management graduate from Mudra Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad (MICA), he has successfully executed various online and offline marketing campaigns for companies operating in Automobile, Fashion and Lifestyle, Travel and Tourism sectors as well as Government departments. He has provided consultancy to Hop On Hop Off (HOHO) Bus services in Delhi and helped increase its ridership. He participated twice in HULT Competition, an International Annual Case study contest, in Dubai to solve an issue plaguing the society through social entrepreneurship. Earlier, as a Computer Engineer graduate, he had spent valuable time working in TCS to hone his technical skills. He has co-founded BnBNation as he believes that Tourism and Hospitality is as much online as it is offline, and he can add value to both.

10 Comments

Nidhi · April 22, 2020 at 9:51 pm

Very thoughtful article Ambuj! These are learnings that all of us should imbibe while traveling and behave responsibly towards Mother Earth.

Ami Bhat · May 11, 2020 at 10:36 am

The Covid situation has done the earth some good – the air is definitely fresher with everyone stuck indoors. With no disturbance, more creatures have found their original homes. This earth day is all about celebrating that. As far as post Covid is concerned, I am all for supporting the local industry with my travel.

Anshul · May 11, 2020 at 3:30 pm

great post, saving the planet is a real concern and many organizations are trying their best but it won’t improve unless governments around the world control imissions rate. This was a good read from you.

    Mayuri Patel · May 11, 2020 at 10:29 pm

    Such great Post on World Earth day, Earth needs healing now! Humans have done enough damage to mother earth and now is the time to stop this and learning during this COVID situation. I know, so many organizations are trying to improve the situation but Government should take initiatives. Also we need to understand the impact of over tourism and more weigh should be on responsible tourism!

Anita · May 12, 2020 at 7:49 pm

The Earth day of 2020 is indeed special. Who would expect that this year with a weird number 20 and 20 would be so memorable due to the pandemic. I feel that I have never thought about the Earth as much as before. Thank you for bringing up this topic. I believe everyone will appreciate Mother Earth this year.

Suruchi · May 12, 2020 at 10:53 pm

Covid surely has done some good things to our earth. Nature has healed and world earth day is best to celebrate that. We can see sparrows. blue sky here and so much here. Absolutely we need to care for our 🌍. Post Covid we will be travelling locally only and will go with responsible tourism.

blair villanueva · May 14, 2020 at 8:58 am

This COVID-19 is like telling us that our nature needs an emergency healing. I’ve seen many countries lowers their pollution rates, animals and some marine life are coming back, etc. We all need to co-exist and respect that way.

Simas · May 15, 2020 at 7:45 pm

The problem is that after we get away from covid the previous environmental issues that the absence of people helped to reduce will come back in force… Unless the govs will exploit this opportunity to enforce it while everyone is “used” to the current situation.

Shane Prather · May 15, 2020 at 8:12 pm

It was really crazy to celebrate a 50th anniversary of our beautiful earth while also mourning all the loss during COVID of all things travel. I think we will come out of this stronger than ever before!

Ana · May 18, 2020 at 1:30 pm

I think that the COVID pandemic has made us realized that we should never take nature for granted. Our Earth is happy even without us. We need to respect nature and follow ethical practices such as minimizing our waste, not using plastics, saving water and electricity etc. These are the small steps that we all should practice every day!

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