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How Whale Watching Is Boosting Endangered Populations



Hump back whales tale by hans dekker via flickr

Environmentalism and vacationing don’t typically go hand in hand, and in many cases, activities we enjoy during our leisure time can be directly harmful to the environment. When it comes to caring for our oceans, however, there’s one recreational activity that’s brought about great ecological benefits in recent years: whale watching.

How is whale watching contributing to the health of our oceans? After all, at first glance it doesn’t seem like there’s much going on there; you’ve got some excited people on a boat hoping that whales will show up. When we dig a little deeper, however, the beneficial aspects of the activity become clear.

An Inside Look At Whale Watching

People who have been whale watching love to describe the excitement of the experience. Out on the water, armed with cameras, you can never be sure if or when a whale will surface. When it happens, though, there’s great excitement as these enormous, mysterious creatures engulf the boat in mist as they rise to the surface or leap from the water. The enormity of seeing a whale can only be described as awesome in the original sense of the word – but the value of the experience doesn’t end when you disembark.

Whale Watching’s Ties To Conservation

Whale watching has been one of the fastest growing types of nature-related tourism since the 1950s and now has 87 participating nations and territories, 34 of which are members of the International Whaling Commission. These groups host over 9 million people each year, interested in exploring the world of whale watching, and a large percentage of profits from whale watching goes to research and habitat protection.

Another reason that whale watching is so beneficial is that many of the companies that run whale watching trips contribute valuable data about whale behavior, life cycles, and movements to scientific organizations. This allows scientists to allot more of their time and resources to developing solutions to issues like pollution and global warming that are impacting the whale population.

Getting Off The List

For those seeking concrete evidence that whale watching is beneficial to the health of our oceans, there’s no greater proof than the removal of 9 humpback whale groupings from the endangered species list; 5 other whale groups remain on the list due to insufficient population growth.

Humpback whales have been on the endangered species list since the 1970s, shortly after an international ban on commercial whaling went into effect. The whales were nearly hunted to extinction in the years before the ban, necessitating such extreme protections.

Eco-Friendly Tourism: Part Of A Larger Movement

What watchers today can expect unprecedented sightings in some areas, including pods of 15 to 20 whales in Pacific waters, but these nature lovers aren’t the only ones experiencing our oceans in new and exciting ways today. Rather, whale watching is part of a larger movement to encourage tourists to engage with the environment in respectful, mutually beneficial ways.

In Zanzibar, for example, tourists staying at the Cenizaro property The Residence can participate in dives developed by One Ocean. Visitors can see the many brilliant varieties of fish and plant life in the waters nearby, while One Ocean works with the Mnemba Island Conservation Area to protect that ecosystem. Similarly, those who stay in Zanzibar’s protected Menai Bay are charged a tax on all water activities, with the funds allotted to caring for the surrounding marine life.

Too often, our actions are grouped into one of two categories – either we are actively engaged in environmentalist activity to save a planet in distress or we’re participating in leisure activities that are ruining our Earth. The reality, however, is that the division isn’t stark and you can care for the planet while still leading an exciting and enjoyable life.



Extra-Mile Water Conservation Efforts Amidst Shortage



water conserving

While some states are literally flooding due to heavy rains and run-off, others are struggling to get the moisture they need. States like Arizona and California have faced water emergencies for the last few years; water conserving efforts from citizens help keep them out of trouble.

If your area is experiencing a water shortage, there are a few things you can do to go the extra mile.

Repair and Maintain Appliances

Leaks around the house – think showerheads, toilets, dishwashers, and more – lead to wasted water. Beyond that, the constant flow of water will cause water damage to your floors and walls. Have repairs done as soon as you spot any problems.

Sometimes, a leak won’t be evident until it gets bad. For that reason, make appointments to have your appliances inspected and maintained at least once per year. This will extend the life of each machine as well as nip water loss in the bud.

When your appliances are beyond repair, look into Energy Star rated replacements. They’re designed to use the least amount of water and energy possible, without compromising on effectiveness.

Only Run Dishwasher and Washer When Full

It might be easier to do a load of laundry a day rather than doing it once per week, but you’ll waste a lot more water this way. Save up your piles of clothes until you have enough to fully load the washing machine. You could also invest in a washing machine that senses the volume of water needed according to the volume of clothes.

The same thing goes with the dishwasher. Don’t push start until you’ve filled it to capacity. If you have to wash dishes, don’t run the water while you’re washing. Fill the sink or a small bowl a quarter of the way full and use this to wash your dishes.

Recycle Water in Your Yard

Growing a garden in your backyard is a great way to cut down on energy and water waste from food growers and manufacturers, but it will require a lot more water on your part. Gardens must be watered, and this often leads to waste.

You can reduce this waste by participating in water recycling. Using things like a rain barrel, pebble filtering system, and other tools, you can save thousands of gallons a year and still keep your landscaping and garden beautiful and healthy.

Landscape with Drought-Resistant Plants

Recycling water in your yard is a great way to reduce your usage, but you can do even more by reducing the amount of water required to keep your yard looking great. The best drought-resistant plants are those that are native to the area. In California, for example, succulents grow very well, and varieties of cactus do well in states like Arizona or Texas.

Install Water-Saving Features

The average American household uses between 80 and 100 gallons of water every single day. You obviously can’t cut out things like showering or using the toilet, but you can install a few water-saving tools to make your water use more efficient.

There are low-flow showerheads, toilets, and faucet aerators. You could also use automatic shut-off nozzles, shower timers, and grey water diverters. Any of these water saving devices can easily cut your water usage in half.

Research Laws and Ordinances for Your City

Dry states like California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada must create certain laws to keep the water from running out. These laws are put into practice for the benefit of everyone, but they only work if you abide by the laws.

If you live in a state where drought is common, research your state and city’s laws. They might designate one day per week that you’re allowed to water your lawn or how full you can fill a pool. Many people are not well versed in the laws set by their states, and it would mean a lot to your community if you did your part.

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Cyprus is the Forerunner for Ecotourism



When I was looking for a second citizenship, I happened to see One Visa’s offer on Cyprus Citizenship by investment program. I had heard about Cyprus being a beautiful country, but I did not know much else, so I decided to start my own research about this gem of a place.

After I did some research, I discovered that Cyprus is a popular destination for tourists. Unfortunately, heavy tourism and the associated development affected villages here and there, with some communities being slowly abandoned. To avoid this from happening any further, Cyprus went into ecotourism, and today, it is the forerunner in this arena. Let’s look in further detail at ecotourism in Cyprus here.

How was it started?

It all started in 2006 with the launch of the “Cyprus Sustainable Tourism Initiative.” This program has the sole scope of promoting ecotourism developments in the tourism industry. It concentrates on those areas which require conservation and environmental safety. At the same time, it helps develop social, as well as economic statuses in the rural parts of Cyprus. Through this program, the government was able to acknowledge that ecotourism will play an essential role in the future of Cyprus, with the concept gaining momentum among tourists from all over the globe.

How to go about it?

So, now you are interested in going for an ecotourism vacation in Cyprus. How will you go about it? I would immediately say that everyone should visit the quaint Cypriot villages spread throughout the island. These communities have a smaller population, and not many tourists visit. They make for a great relaxing spot. Enjoy seeing the bustle of village life go by where simple pleasures abound. Most hamlets are linked by specific minibus tours which ferry tourists to these havens. These trips will have a regular schedule, aimed at promoting ecotourism further. Such tours will be regulated to ensure that while the villages can benefit and develop, they do not get overpopulated or overcrowded with tourists. Therefore, you can be sure to enjoy the beautiful sceneries that nature has to offer here.

If you are wondering if there are any activities to do here, my answer would be: “Yes, plenty.” You can go for some guided walks across various regions here. Here you will be able to explore the diversified natural beauty and wildlife of the area. Several agritourism activities and services are planned to open shortly. Once launched, you will be able to engage in picking olives, milking goats, and several other such events here.

What can be learned?

Although we are aware that natural resources need to be preserved, we do not always remember it in real life. When we go on tours such as these, we can realize the significance of protecting nature. Also, when more and more people visit these places, the concept of ecotourism will become popular among more people. Awareness about ecotourism is set to grow and spread throughout the world. Subsequently, sustainable tourism will gain popularity around the globe with Cyprus being the forerunner for ecotourism .

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