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Are You Doing Your Part for Ecotourism?

Are You Doing Your Part for Ecotourism?

The expansion of tourism across the globe is partly responsible for both positive and negative change to the environment on a grand scale. On one hand, we are more educated than ever before on detail of cultures thousands of miles away, how to travel there and immerse ourselves in ways unfamiliar to our daily routines. On the flipside, the demand of more people visiting global destinations year after year comes at a cost. Aircraft pollute the skies, wildlife depletes, and inhabitants lose lands they once claimed as their own.

But it doesn’t have to always be this way. Change can happen and examples must be set to ensure that a conscious effort is being made to protect the destinations we travel to and the surroundings we encounter, not only for our generation but for those in the future.

Cue the term ecotourism, which is a contemporary form of travel that seeks to rebalance the scales and make travel more sustainable – for the benefit of our culture, our environment and our economy. It has been defined by The International Ecotourism Society as “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment, sustains the well-being of the local people, and involves interpretation and education”.

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How is ecotourism different from other forms of tourism?

There are certain attributes that bring ecotourism into its own, predominantly involving the following:

–       Conscientious, low-impact visitor behaviour

–       Sensitivity towards, and appreciation of, local cultures and biodiversity

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–       Support for local conservation efforts

–       Sustainable benefits to local communities

–       Local participation in decision-making

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In summary, the act of ecotourism allows the places we visit to receive their fair share of the revenue generated from tourism trade.

Why is ecotourism so important?

Travel and leisure companies that facilitate the travel to countries they do not operate out of make profits that are not reinvested in the local community and environment. To put this into perspective, about 80% of travelers’ expenditures go to the airlines, hotels and other international companies and it does not go to local businesses or workers. In places such as Thailand and the Caribbean, the consideration for ecotourism is so low that it is estimated 70-80% of income from tourism goes elsewhere. To champion sustainable tourism would mean that a larger majority of revenue is allocated to the preservation of these regions long term.

What is driving the change for ecotourism?

In this day and age, a holiday offers an experience and those that are unique to their location are the most natural and pure to come by. We all want beaches and landscapes and gems that we can’t find at home but beyond that there is now a global community spirit to ensure we are not leaving such places in a worse state than we find them. For every action there is a reaction; our lasting impact should be that of making the world a better place in any way we can.

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Time waits for no man so getting to see natural worldly wonders in all their glory is a challenge worth taking on. Sustainable living website Litter Bins has created a handy guide for 10 places on earth known for eco tourism to start with, they are:

  1. Costa Rica, which is also en route to becoming the first carbon neutral country by 2021.
  2. Galapagos Islands, which has plants and animals that are not found anywhere else in the world.
  3. Borneo, which is known for rainforest protection and orangutan rehabilitation centres.
  4. Peru, which is home to tropical rainforests and jungles that have always been important ecosystems in our world.
  5. Patagonia, which is home to glacier ranges that are diminishing because of climate change.
  6. Bhutan, which is known as the world’s most eco-friendly and carbon-negative country.
  7. Slovenia, which has a well-deserved reputation for clean, green travel in Europe.
  8. Botswana, a country committed to preserving its natural heritage and wildlife.
  9. New Zealand, which has striking landscapes and expansive untouched wilderness regions.
  10. Vietnam, which is rich in lush green mountains, green rice paddy fields, and national parks.

For further reading on ecotourism and sustainable travel, you may be inspired by the work of international campaigners and green living tips. Stay safe and happy travels.

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Tom Willis

Web Marketing & Content Producer

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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