Why is Responsible Travel Important?

Today I went on a  rafting trip down the Spokane River that flows through Idaho and Washington.  The trip included presentations by environmental groups on the health of fish in the area and about contamination that has occurred over the years.  
I learned how PCB and mercury can infect waterways when there has been little monitoring and restrictions over the years and how dangerous that pollution is for people who eat the fish.  For this reason, should I be selected for this vacation, my recent knowledge and awareness of the importance of protecting our water will heighten my sensitivity to doing my part to not contribute to the problem.
If our actions contribute to destruction of the environment then someone else has to clean up the mess while the flora and fauna become innocent victims of our carelessness.   If everyone enjoyed their environment by keeping in mind that we are accountable for our actions, pollution would diminish..
Two years ago I went kayaking with a group around the islands in the Sea of Cortes.  We camped for 6 nights; and everything we packed in, we packed out, including human excrement.  I found it to be less convenient than relying on someone else to pick up after me, but I, also, felt proud that I can enjoy nature’s beauty without destroying even one flower petal.  The impact was powerful and sustaining.  I am not only more conscientious towards keeping our environment clean and protected when I travel, but this mentality has carried over into my day-to-day living by increased emphasis on recycling, using biodegradable products and not being wasteful.
On a more self-indulgent slant, I would love to vacation to a place where I can go horseback riding, go snorkeling and learn more about the culture of the area.
Photo credit: http://lacocoteraresort.com

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