As much as I’d love to spend my days hiking and traveling, exploring the state parks here in Indiana as well as national parks across the country, most of my day-to-day is spent as a student on a college campus. Instead of traversing up winding canyons or down river rapids, most weekday mornings I can be found making the same uninteresting walks through campus. Favoring the less-populated routes along on-campus neighborhood sidewalks, the amount of plastic and glass I notice laying casually in the grass is always irritating.
Still, it’s a college campus. With parties on most days of the week that end in “-day,” there’s bound to be stray garbage around. What’s more frustrating is when that trash makes its way off campus. All too often I find myself picking up a candy wrapper along a trail, or spotting a plastic water bottle meandering down a stream between paddles.
As an outdoor enthusiast preaching to other adventurers, I don’t have to say how important it is to keep the earth a clean and beautiful places, whether at a university or a national park. However, I will admit how refreshing it is to see both sides of my life positively converge on this topic via Purdue professor Jonathon Day.
Day was recently featured on Purdue’s newsroom website, speaking about sustainable travel and tourism. A professor of hospitality and tourism management, as well as an expert on vacation marketing, this Boilermaker had some great advice for anyone traveling anywhere (but especially for college students at Purdue and nationwide getting ready for spring break traveling).
“Getting a spring break vacation is important, and students should have as much fun as possible. But when you travel take your good habits as well.”
Besides pointing out the obvious issues like recycling, Day broadened the topic in ways perhaps students hadn’t thought of, bringing up some interesting strategies to live a sustainable lifestyle while on the move.
“I encourage people to shop locally. They can enjoy the farmers market and get local fruits and vegetables,” Day said. “Even beyond that they should see if they can find some of the local arts and crafts and put that money for souvenirs back in the destination’s economy.”
For Day, sustainability is more than just saving the planet. It’s also an opportunity to allow tourist destinations to grow in a healthy way without damaging the economic state of the community or the physical beauty of exotic locations.
“I love the experience of strolling through ancient heritage sites or exploring wilderness areas, but if 100,000 people are going to be walking through that place you have to be thinking about how you can protect it so future generations can visit.”
Check out the full article here, and try to spread some love to the outdoors by spreading this article around to your friends, family, and fellow explorers.