While on a holiday we tend to be bit more relaxed about how we dispose of rubbish or things that we do not need. Shopping bags, food packages, left over food, plastic bottles etc. end up in places which can harm not only the environment but even humans and animals. Whether travelling through a rainforest, sea, city or village, a traveller is often less careful than at home when it comes to littering.
Litter is perhaps one of the most common means of harm that travelers inflict on their destinations. It harms both urban and natural environments, both aesthetically and often environmentally.
It is perhaps most harmful in marine environments. There, litter is moved around in ocean currents, traveling long distances and damaging the marine ecosystems. Various kinds of litter can cause various problems; plastic bags and pellets are often mistaken for jellyfish by their natural predators, and when eaten, often result in the death of the animal. Some plastics also absorb toxins, and this may even bio accumulate, with the built up toxin levels ending up on the plates at the top of the food chain, us.
The same is likely to occur in other natural habitats, where harmful non-biodegradable matter is left to be eaten by animals, killing them. Other forms of litter, such as broken glass or anything with sharp edges are also likely to cause harm, for obvious reasons.
The problem of litter however, extends beyond natural environments. In urban areas, litter can clog drains, spread diseases and cause injuries. Clogged drains may even cause localised floods, damaging the land around it and potentially spreading more diseases. When litter accumulates, small dumps can be formed, and can act as homes for pests.
As harmless and insignificant as it may seem at times, we must realise that by littering, we may be accountable for participating in damage to plants, animals, and other people. As Halal conscious travelers we need to be extra careful in taking care of the environment and stop littering.