You Call Yourself a Traveler? Then Don't Litter!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

celine reyes blogger

We Travel, We Care is a series of essays discussing and exploring issues related to travel and tourism.

I hate litterers. They're the worst. I say that because the motivation behind littering is lost to me. Why won't you throw that in the trash can? Oh, there's no trash can? Why couldn't you keep the rubbish in your person in the meantime until you find one? See? It's absurd. It becomes even more ridiculous when you realize that not littering is as straightforward as it gets: don't throw away your trash whenever, wherever. Period. I know we have a natural aversion to dirt and junk but you, as a human being, appearing to be free of trash doesn't equate to you being decent. It's been said many times albeit in different forms: actions trump appearances. Listen, people, the "out of sight, out of mind" mindset when it comes to trash has got to stop. Throwing candy wrapper willy-nilly just to keep your pockets garbage-free doesn't make you a "clean" person – it just means you badly need lessons on respect, responsibility, and discipline. What's so hard about proper waste disposal? I repeat: not littering is as simple as it gets. 

If there's one thing I hate more than litterers, it's so-called travelers who litter. Respect – for himself, for others, and, most importantly, for the environment – makes a true traveler. When you get to experience places such as Boracay, shouldn't you instinctively feel the need to protect it? Shouldn't you, as someone who proudly claims to have seen more than one page of the book of life, be more perceptive? Shouldn't you, the nature lover who finds solace in the mountains, be the first one to advocate environmental consciousness? Otherwise, you'd just be selfish which would be both disappointing and infuriating because, above all else, traveling should enable you to look further and deeper than your own interests – being selfish defeats its entire purpose. By littering, you'll be indirectly robbing future generations (and this includes future you) of immaculate views and extraordinary experiences. I don't know about anyone else, but, by my moral standard, that is an ugly union of disrespect and selfishness. I simply don't understand how, after you've witnessed and experienced unbridled and incomparable beauty, you can still be so careless with your garbage.

Forget tourist versus traveler. Oftentimes, the simplest things define who and what you are. There are far too many people who profess themselves to be travelers but far too few who truly embody its essence. Even if you've been to countless places, to the far reaches of the Earth, you're no better than its scums if you can't do something so basic as minding your trash

You call yourself a traveler? Do not dishonor the title by littering. Do it justice. You must never underestimate the impact of your actions. Remember that whatever you do, no matter how small, it will affect everything and everyone. Always be a good example to your peers, for a grand act done by a single person is always no match for one little act done by all. When you call yourself a traveler, make sure you can own up to it. The world had given you much and has every right to expect no less from you. You are a traveler. You know better. You should know and do what is right.

We tend to forget that our entire existence depends on the environment. The very air that keeps us alive, we render unbreathable. We poison our sustenance and destroy our own home. We should be worried, travelers. Nature can and have survived without us. It will always endure, but we will surely not if we don't clean up our act. Literally.

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