Created as a day to celebrate the plant and encourage people to be more environmentally friendly, more than 20 million people participated in the first Earth Day on April 22nd, 1970. Today, one billion people across the globe will get involved to make this year's Earth Day the most important in years. As travellers, we can celebrate the world’s wondrous beauty by exploring its hidden treasures, walking its towering peaks and taking front row seats to its fascinating natural events, but also by doing our small part to help:
1) Conserve water & have a natural shower
Often said, ‘from the Brazilian side you see the falls but from the Argentinian side you live them’. At the height of the season, when the waters throw themselves over the cliffs bordering the two countries, visiting Iguazu Falls is a tremendous experience. With the spray and roar reaching its pitch, head down Argentina’s main pathway that leads directly to the Devil’s throat, or Garganta del Diablo. Surrounded on all sides by the collection of two hundred cascades, don’t even bother with a waterproof and instead get drenched by the world’s largest open-air shower.
2) Don’t drive but bike around Napa Valley
Give the car a day off and explore the beautiful surroundings of Napa Valley on two wheels, luxuriating in the fresh air, sun-drenched vineyards and delicious wines. With wine tastings being the order of the day, pedal passed the verdant grapevines making stops at local wineries and restaurants to sample the chilled Chardonnays and crisp Pinot Noirs. For those used to driving, start in Yountville, as with more than 40 wineries within 5 miles of each other, you won’t have to bike far, but for those who usually hit the road in lycra, whizz past the straight rows in the Carneros District to really get your lungs going.
3) Turn off your lights to see the aurora borealis
Grab a chair, turn off the lights and wait for the awe-inspiring natural light show that is the aurora borealis. With dazzling coloured lights of blue, green, yellow and pink, pick a remote hotel, we particularly love ION, with dark night skies and tick the phenomenon off of your bucket list. If you want to stay in Reykjavik, nearer the Golden Circle, walk to the harbour after dinner and take a boat to just outside of the light pollution and combine the wonderful sights of the Northern Lights with whale watching!
4) Eat locally sourced seafood in Cape Town
Eating the freshest fish in Cape Town is a win win both for the environment and for fussy foodies. Wedged in by the Atlantic Ocean and Table Mountain, stroll along the cobbled streets, passing by charming guesthouses and colonial villas, browse the quaint and utterly tempting boutiques to finally end up in one of the sea-front restaurants for some of the best seafood in the world. With just-caught tuna, Capetonian chefs snap up some of the daily catch before it’s shipped to Japan, so order it just-seared, pair it with a bottle of Kanonkop’s finest and feel satisfied that you’ve done your part in supporting responsible eating.
5) Stay in an eco-resort on Wakatobi Island
The kind of place you never want to leave, Wakatobi Resort is located on a secluded island, blending five-star eco-friendly facilities with outrageously fantastic diving. Nestled in the heart of South Sulawesi, you are never more than a stone’s throw away from the coral reef triangle, which is teeming with 942 species of fish and 750 coral reef species. Mere steps from the ocean, enjoy your ethically and ecologically responsible hand-crafted bungalows as you experience your own Robinson-Crusoe adventure, snorkelling, sailing, kayaking and kite-surfing to your heart’s content. Having launched a sustainable marine resource protection scheme for the region, the resort actively protects both the local environment and local people with development programs, educational plans and conversation efforts.