We’re launching our 25 Days to Green Travel series with photos that remind us why traveling green – and living green – matters. We’re going with the “a picture is worth a thousand words” concept. As I searched for these photos, I was reminded over and over that our travel decisions don’t just affect us; they affect people and wildlife across the world, and they will for generations to come. Read on for many reasons to travel green. The post wraps up with some truly amazing photos of beautiful places, people, and creatures around the world, so stick through the depressing photos to the end and you’ll be rewarded.
The Bad Destruction of Wildlife Photos
Bird covered in oil from a Black Sea oil spill, Strait of Kerch, Russia. photo credit: marinephotobank
Polar bear on melted ice, Barents Island, Norway. photo credit: © Arne Naevra
Dead fish in a polluted river, Buenos Aires, Argentina. photo credit: blmurch
Global Warming Photos
Exposed coral reef, Gili Meno, Indonesia. photo credit: yeowatzup
Fragment of a melted iceberg, Jökulsárlón, Iceland. photo credit: nick_russill
Floating chunk of a melted glacier, El Calafate, Argentina. photo credit: lrargerich
Melting glaciers, Jökulsárlón, Iceland. photo credit: csproete
Water Pollution Photos
Polluted river filled with trash, Siem Reap, Cambodia. photo credit: davilla
Man fishing for plastic bags in River Yamuna, Delhi, India. photo credit: Koshyk
Metal barrel floating in a polluted green lake. photo credit: jantik
Pictures of Air Pollution
Taj Mahal choking in early morning smog, Agra, India. photo credit: mshandro
Smog pollutes a city, Beijing, China. photo credit: diggingforfire
Factory air pollution, Nova Scotia, Canada. photo credit: ojbyrne
Car pollution, Cremona, Italy. photo credit: Simone Ramella
A blanket of smog, Mexico City, Mexico. photo credit: arnd
Smog hangs over the City of Angels, Los Angeles, California. photo credit: cwsteeds
A blanket of smog pollution, Santiago, Chile. photo credit: philliecasablanca
One way to avoid breathing polluted air, Tehran, Iran. photo credit: kamshots
Airplane pollution high in the sky, Anywhere. photo credit: mshades
Photos of Forest Destruction & Deforestation
Lonely stump of deforestation, Playa de Champerico, Guatemala. photo credit: Pati’s Moment in Time
Deforestation in the Amazon, São Gabriel da Cachoeira, Brazil. photo credit: dgidsicki
A mountain of deforestation, Wakayama, Japan. photo credit: T.Hagihara
Photos of Waste
Electronic waste from the West, China. photo credit: art_es_anna
Chinese baby surround by e-waste from the West, China. photo credit: art_es_anna
The Good: Reasons to Travel Green…
Preserve the Sites and Wildlife
Coral reefs and fish, Palmyra Atoll National Wildlife Refuge. photo credit: Jim Maragos/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Cliffs of Moher, Ireland. photo credit: atomicpuppy68
Gorgeous mountains and water, Brienz, Switzerland. photo credit: pilou
Young elephants, Masai Mara, Kenya. photo credit: wildcat_dunny
Adult and baby moose, Alaska, United States. photo credit: Paul Resh
Support the Local Economy and Way of Life
Woman selling local fish, Seoul, South Korea. photo credit: neaners
Street vendor selling local good, India. photo credit: utpal
All of these images except one are from Flickr, many from amateur photographers. Every green traveler has those days where she just wants to give up. Pollution, global warming, bad environmental policy decisions – how much of a difference can one person really make? The answer is, each of us can make a big difference. There are so very many reasons to travel green. No matter what shade of green traveler you are, I hope these photos motivate you to keep traveling green.
Everything I need to know about watching wildlife I learned in kindergarten.
As a lover of nature, especially animals, I set out to learn everything I could about being respectful while watching wildlife. You know what I found out? Keep your hands to yourself. Don’t touch animals, their nests, babies, etc.
photo credit: Chalky Lives
Don’t feed the animals. This can lead to health problems for the animals as well as dependencies. For instance, in the Galapagos the mockingbirds will beg for water if they see your water bottle.
photo credit: photojenni
Be mindful of personal space. Give animals plenty of space. Use binoculars or a telephoto lens.
photo credit: chrispearson72
If someone is upset, say you’re sorry and leave them alone. I’m not sure how much good it will do to apologize to an animal, but if you sense that an animal is getting agitated or changing his behavior, slowly back away.
photo credit: furryscaly
Clean up after yourself. Pick up your garbage (and others’ litter too).
Learn and become knowledgeable. Learn about the habitat and the creatures you’re watching before you set out. This will not only give you greater appreciation for them but you will also learn nuances that will allow you to be more respectful.
photo credit: Phillie Casablanca
Share (your knowledge) with others. Everything that you learned before and from your wildlife watching excursion you should share with others. By spreading your understanding of the animals, you will protect them.
photo credit: Jace
Travel Green On Your Next Vacation to Reduce Impact
How to Travel Greener Tips and Eco-friendly Preparations
How Green can you be On The Road
Innovations in Green Travel Series
Shades of Green Travel: How Green Are You?
Green Travel Quizzes: Revealing and Fun Quizzes to Enjoy
Turn Any Vacation Green
Damages of Air Travel on Our Environment
6 Awesome Travel Ideas for a Green Vacation
15 Reasons to Travel Green to be a Responsible Traveler
Sustainable Souvenirs – How to Find Them and Why Buy Them
What is Green Travel ~ Definition of Different Types
Reduce your travel footprint by holidaying closer to home