Great Barrier Reef
One of the largest biological organisms in the world, the Great Barrier Reef is visible from outer space... but it might not be for long. Other than the sporadic oil spills which severely damage the reef, Australia's popular tourist destination is being affected daily by pollution, resulting in declining water quality. Littering tourists and excessive fishing are to blame for the reef's decline but 90% of the pollution is due to ‘farm run-off'. Farm run-off is when contaminated soil is flooded from rain and flows over the land into nearby rivers. Vast tracts of the reef have been polluted and without the proper care, future generations will be left with little to see of the once-thriving reef.
Twenty-one years of advancing construction and thousands of artisans and craftsmen could not protect the Taj Mahal from environmental pollution. The onslaught of tourists and the surrounding Yamuna River have all affected the "jewel of India" in the oddest of ways - it's turning the pristine white structure yellow! Other than the change in color, the water pollution in the Yamuna River has caused the water level to lower, resulting in the wooden foundation of the tomb to rot. It has been predicted that the structure may collapse within five years, after cracks appeared in parts of the tomb and the minarets showed signs of tilting. Forget the next generation - it looks like our generation won't be able to appreciate such a majestic sign of love for much longer.
Great Wall of China
There are many factors contributing to the slow demise of the Great Wall of China. Thousands of tourists walk along the 8,000+ kilometer wall annually, but not all parts of the wall are up to par. Many sections of the Great Wall of China have been vandalized and are covered with graffiti while other sections have eroded from sandstorms. One of the more atrocious acts against this amazing structure is that many parts of the wall are knowingly being destroyed in the way of construction. The Great Wall of China has withstood many invasions but it cannot withstand environmental attacks - and at this rate, this regal structure may not be around for our children to walk on.
When you look at Mount Everest you see the highest mountain on Earth and its snow-covered peaks but what you can't see is the litter of food, plastics, glass, paper, climbing equipment and other remains. Melting ice has a huge influence on the structure of Mount Everest and where ice and snow covered the trails in the beginning, adventurers will now find bare rocks and dangerous exposed crevasses. Mount Everest has both cultural and spiritual value and it would be a shame if future generations would not be able to experience the excitement and thrill of climbing it.
Indonesia's sanctuary for the definitive traveler, Bali offers it all from breathtaking mountain landscapes to endless beaches. But the little island has a big problem - a waste management problem! With only 60% of waste being properly discarded, and tourism and the local population growing rapidly, Bali is being overrun with garbage. The remaining refuse is being left uncollected on illegal roadside dumps and can be seen scattered across the land's slowly-fading beauty. More and more hazardous wastes have been found infiltrating the surrounding bodies of water, all of which is resulting in erosion and the drying up of many rivers. In fact, research shows that parts of Bali will face a severe water shortage by 2015 - here's to hoping that the situation gets under control in Bali.