NSFW: We never thought we’d publish this article

As travelers, there are instances that we’d find ourselves in situations we never thought of or even imagined about. Totally unexpected, these experiences are the kinds that involuntarily arouse a specific set of emotions, or hit close to home. In this day and age, it’s almost always unavoidable that you’d chance upon circumstances that are utterly NSFW.

NSFW — Not exactly what you are expecting

When we say NSFW, thoughts automatically pop into our minds. However, we’re here to point out that for us, NSFW does not mean Not Safe for Work. Because this time, we’d like to redefine it to something more meaningful for a far bigger cause. Because when we say NSFW, we mean: Not Safe For World.

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Not Safe For World (NSFW)

We hate to break this to everyone, but despite how the tourism industry is “one of the strongest drivers of world trade and prosperity” and how it boosted the economy of communities and developing countries, the industry proves to be Not Safe For World. 

According to the report of World Tourism Organization, a United Nations agency dedicated to promoting responsible and sustainable tourism, the industry is “responsible of about 5% of global CO2 [Carbon Dioxide] emissions.” 75% of the industry’s emissions that pollute our planet are generated by the transport sector which includes air, car, and rail transportation.

NSFW-Tourism-Industry-Carbon-Emissions

Of course, we know that traveling, whether it is for business or pleasure, couldn’t be totally eliminated. We wouldn’t be hypocrites and claim that we’d stop traveling or we’d only go to destinations that are accessible by foot. However, aside from the fact that the tourism industry itself (or traveling, in general) does have such an adverse impact, the travelers and tourists alike further contribute NSFW acts that add up to the environmental issues.

NSFW Acts – How travelers damage our planet

Whenever you travel, take time to look (read: observe) around you. Keep your eyes open, not just for the beautiful features of a destination but also for the ugly truths that may come with it.

1. Leaving traces behind –  Most travelers, especially mountaineers and divers, know about the Leave No Trace (LNT) principle. However, despite some efforts to increase awareness, it seems that people still would choose to leave traces behind. Common culprits are plastic food wrappers and cigarette butts that were conveniently thrown away anywhere by irresponsible travelers. These traces also impact wildlife and their habitats, posing a threat even for the generations to come.

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2. Disturbing wildlife and supporting unsustainable tourism practices – We’ve seen how people have endangered species, or even killed them. A supposedly IG-worthy selfie with a baby dolphin? Check! A dying baby dolphin later on? Check! Or riding an elephant to see the temples in Thailand or the whale shark-watching in Oslob? Plus, causing wildfires on your treks! The disturbances in our wildlife, destruction of our ecosystem, and animal cruelty comes in so many forms. Unfortunately, a lot of travelers have contributed or unknowingly supported such NSFW acts.

 

3. Taking souvenirs from nature – We always want to take home a piece of where went to. Some are content with bringing home local delicacies and ref magnets, which is fine. But some travelers seem to have a sense of entitlement to everything that they see, including volcanic rocks, seashells, corals, starfishes, and even baby turtles. Yet, these acts are definitely NSFW and do not help in the preservation of our mother Earth. These NSFW acts have to stop.

 

4. Vandalism – Vandalism comes in various forms. From transforming a cave’s wall to a graffiti wall to turning a historical landmark into a dedication corner, the possibilities for us humans seem endless and our gratification insatiable. That is the problem. Any vandal disregards the natural beauty, disrespects the historical significance, and devalues the cultural importance of his/her victim (the same way that this Luna Watchtower which survived World War II has never got to evade the attack of the vandals). Vandalism---La-Union-16

These are just four of the so many NSFW acts that we have so far observed while traveling and we’d be drilling down in the succeeding articles. But aside from showing you the NSFW acts that aroused our anger and triggered our disgust, we also know that being angry about these issues wouldn’t really resolve anything unless we act upon them. We can’t just sit here and do nothing, and that’s why we are launching the NSFW Project.

NSFW Project

NSFW (Not Safe for World) Project will be our campaign with the goal in mind to:

1. Increase awareness about environmental issues caused by, directly or indirectly, the tourism industry and us travelers;

2. Engage fellow travelers to be more responsible citizens of this world; and

3. Take sincere and sustainable actions towards the ultimate protection and preservation of our home planet. 

NSFW-Project

Beginning this May 2018, we’ll run this NSFW Project, alongside Harv’s continuous efforts to inspire travelers around the globe, by sharing the harsh realities of how we, as travelers, negatively impact the environment, and how we could move forward to contribute to a positive change to how we do traveling responsibly. And it is our hope that you’d help us in this initiative, too.

NSFW Project’s Guiding Principles

These principles have always been out there, but now need more emphasis and be articulated quite strongly:

1. Leave no trace behind, and bring home the traces – Applying LNT is no longer enough to preserve our environment. For every traveler practising LNT, there could be hundreds or even thousands who don’t. So it is important that not only do we leave no trace behind, but also we Bring Home Traces (BHT) we see whenever we travel. It’s high time that we go beyond LNT and do BHT to set a good example for everyone to see and emulate.

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2. Wildlife protection and promotion of sustainable tourism practices – Wildlife needs our protection. They don’t need to be irresponsibly featured in our selfies, nor be taken away from their natural habitat. They don’t need forced and selfish human interactions. What they need is for us to avoid disturbing them as they thrive in the ecosystem. What they need is our collective action to call out, and stop supporting, tourism practices that negatively impact their existence.

NSFW

3. Speak for the environment, educate others for its preservation – The world we live in is not capable of speaking our human language. In its own language, it constantly tells us that it is, in fact, in danger but seems to continue to fall on deaf ears. It needs our voice to help cure and resolve issues that plague our environment. Our world needs people who will bravely stand up for it, to educate those who violate the rules of nature, and empower everyone become responsible sojourner of this world.

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NSFW Project could only touch the smallest tip of the iceberg

As much as we’d want to deal with all the various issues right away and tell everyone about all of them, we can only touch upon the tip, perhaps even the smallest, of the iceberg — hopefully for now only.

The world is facing a lot of complex environmental issues that even the world’s greatest minds are struggling to resolve. However, it doesn’t mean that we’ll just leave the fate of our world to them. In our small ways, we can help drive a positive change and impact.

The NSFW Project focuses on simple principles that bank on common deeds that anyone, even a simple ordinary traveler, can do.

We now invite you, our fellow new breed of traveler, to partake in meaningful acts that will help resolve our world’s environmental issues, exponentially.

The world badly needs our help. If only we would start within ourselves and create a ripple effect in helping save our world, then this home becomes a much safer place for all of us to live in. Until then, we have the NSFW Project to help us get through.

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