Social media has become a large part of travelling. Instagram is full of envy-worthy snaps of beaches, colourful doors, and hot dog legs in front of a swimming pool.
Though most of us are just looking to capture that perfect selfie or the like, there are some people that take advantage of holiday spots.
Some people break the law to access private areas, do damage to the environment or are disrespectful to history.
Thats why influencer Elizabeth Brentano has set up a petition to encourage people to be more sensible while abroad.
I would like to propose that Instagram and Facebook act immediately and implement a system allowing users to report violations that are both illegal and harmful to the environment, she wrote online.
Im thrilled to partner with @alaskaair (#ad) and share that they have removed straws from all of their flights. Whats even more awesome is that they are using their #StrawlessSkies campaign to encourage everyone on social media to share what theyre doing as well. One thing Ive been urging all of my friends to do lately is speak up at restaurants when ordering beverages, and let your server know you do not want a straw in your drink. I cant tell you how many times Ive sat down at a table and been served a glass of water with a straw that I didnt even ask for. Since the straw has already been opened and placed in a glass, it will not be re-used for the next customer — its wasted. So please remember to do this every time you dine out, because the more restaurants that hear, “No straws, please!” the more they will reconsider using them. I'd also like to point out that Alaska Airlines (along with many other establishments and companies that have made the decision to ban straws) will still have non-plastic straws available for customers with disabilities. My dad has muscular dystrophy and struggles at mealtime, and so he does still depend on straws occasionally. Its important to remember all of the communities affected by this, but if we continue to work together, we will see success. If you want to learn more about ways to reduce your plastic consumption, Ive put together a blog with links to awesome reusable products, along with other daily measures that might not have crossed your mind. Link in bio if you want to learn more. Also, be sure to share what youre doing to reduce your plastic consumption and tag #StrawlessSkies for a chance to win two Alaska Airlines flight vouchers to a destination of your choosing. #iFlyAlaska
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Posted on Change.org, her petition aims to help the social media generation understand how their actions in another country have consequences.
When individuals use Instagram to publicly post photos and videos of themselves breaking the law and engaging in activities that are harmful to the environment, there is seldom any legal recourse she said.
Worse yet, when shared by larger accounts, publishers or brands, this content has the potential to reach millions of people.
Some of the things she wants to be curbed include burning fires, flying drones in areas where parks and law enforcement have banned these activities, trespassing on closed sections of parks/historical sites, disturbing or feeding wildlife, and vandalism.
When it comes to nature, its towering buttes, spindrift on mountains, raging waterfalls and a rare wildlife sighting that bring the wow factor for me. But this slot canyon, in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, really spoke to me during my time in Utah earlier this year. Im not sure if it was the texture or the way the waves in the rock draw your eye into the middle of the scene, but my mental photo of the place looks exactly like this one, and I really love that. I spent 6 weeks on the road this spring with @im_nicolemarie exploring Utah, New Mexico and Arizona, and we barely scratched the surface of the hidden gems on our public lands in the southwest. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recently released the new proposed plans for both Escalante and Bears Ears National Monuments, and its incredibly disappointing to see that many of our politicians have decided that extraction of resources (gas, coal and oil) is more important than protecting these incredible landscapes, the Native American cultural sites on them and the wildlife in the areas as well. Choosing profit over the planet is neither sustainable nor is it ethical, and there are ways around this — we just have to care and work together. Public commenting opened back up on Friday, and you have until November 15 to submit your thoughts (digitally or via snail mail), and then make sure you get out and VOTE this fall. Link in bio with the draft of plans for Escalante, and information on submitting your comments is at the bottom of page 7. (h/t to @running_bum_ for bringing this link to my attention, its certainly not the first thing that comes up when you google around for updates on this.)
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Certain apps, such as Instagram, allow geotagging which lets users to show their followers exactly where they are. This can result in surges in visitation.
Elizabeth warned that this isnt always a good thing, especially when large numbers dont take care of the site.
The Keyhole Hot Springs in British Colombia, for example, was affected by increased levels of garbage which attracted grizzly bears who ended up showing hostile behaviors to humans.
As a result, the area is now closed annually betwen April to November.
Elizabath wants to stop this from happening.
She urged social media giants to better regulate the spread of images that may help popularise certain behaviours.
Instagram/Facebook should provide flagged accounts with appropriate resources on responsible recreation, protecting the environment and volunteer opportunities, so they might be able to correct their actions and help everyone in the outdoor community work together, she said.
You can read more about her project and sign the petition here.