Spring is well and truly here, and the Riviera Maya is in full bloom. The hot temperatures have returned and after Semana Santa and the Easter holidays, there is a real feeling of life and energy here in Playa del Carmen. The holidays filled our beaches and streets with visitors and the local economy has had a boost. The energy lingers long after the visitors leave, but that’s not all.
Such an influx of people has a cost. Our beautiful, yet fragile natural surroundings come under immense pressure, and the negative impact of tourism is both immediate and long-term, and often not perceptible until it’s too late and the damage is done.
I don’t want to focus on that though. I want to focus on what could be. I invite you to join me, and imagine …
Can you imagine if every single tourist did something positive for the nature of the Riviera Maya during their time here?
Imagine if everyone (including residents) neutralized their footprint on these shores, consciously counteracting potential damage with daily action.
Imagine if everyone refused straws and non-recyclable packaging in restaurants.
Imagine if everyone disposed of their trash responsibly.
Imagine if everyone left every beach, cenote and jungle area cleaner than they found it, every time.
Imagine if everyone used bicycles or walked when travelling short distances.
Imagine if everyone supported local community businesses.
Imagine if everyone volunteered or donated to local charities at least once during their stay.
Imagine if everyone refused to exploit captive animals.
Doing it isn’t hard; this edition’s pages are full of ideas on how to do just that. Convincing ourselves to consciously, actively do it every day may be the harder part. But it’s never too late to start. Break the habits of a lifetime, and create a better lifetime for the future.
According to the Tourism Secretary, almost 40 million tourists visited Quintana Roo last year – can you imagine if they all, we all, became conscious, responsible visitors and residents? Imagine how our precious local environment would be transformed (and we already think this is paradise)!
Imagine all the people; it’s easy if you try …
Happy Earth Day, April 22, 2018