Every day, more and more travelers become aware of the state of our planet, and wonder what they can do to preserve its natural beauty and protect it for the future. Sustainability is being discussed all over the world, but before deciding the best actions to take, it helps to understand what sustainability really means, and why it is important to all of us.
Simply put, sustainability means the capacity of our human society to continue to exist within earth’s natural cycles.

The concept of sustainability comes directly from science. Science tells us that we live in the Earth’s biosphere, a thin layer where life is possible because of the sun’s energy and the photosynthesis of that energy by plants. On our planet, energy and matter move in cycles that create a perfect balance for human life to exist.

Many scientists agree that the natural cycles and conditions that enable human life will continue for all time, unless they are disrupted. In 1989, a group of scientists identified the four biggest ways we are disrupting nature’s cycles, and creating an environment that will become unlivable for humans in the future.

The four main causes of unsustainability are:

  • The increasing extraction of large flows of materials from Earth’s crust, such as heavy metals and the fossil fuels used for transportation, manufacturing and power generation
  • The increasing build up in nature of substances produced by society, such as plastics and manmade chemicals and compounds
  • The destruction and degradation of nature and prevention of natural processes, such as through deforestation, construction, and overfishing
  • The creation of barriers that prevent people from meeting their basic human needs, such as unsafe working conditions and wages that are too small to live on

These four issues are the biggest challenges to sustaining human life on the planet, and the way we travel has undeniably added to these problems. If we want the places we visit to remain beautiful, and the cultures we discover to continue into the future, we have to reduce our own contributions to these four root causes of unsustainability.

For travelers, this means making thoughtful choices that do not disrupt nature and its cycles. For example, we can carefully consider our transportation options and energy consumption on holiday. We can reduce the amount of materials we discard into the environment, and choose eco-friendly substances instead of plastics and chemicals. We can behave respectfully towards nature and only pay to visit those places and attractions that do so as well. And we can purchase products and services that allow others to live with safety and dignity.

Creating a more sustainable world is a task for everyone. We hope you will join us by choosing what is good for the future of our planet, when you visit Quang Nam and in all your travels.

Read more: Tips for planning your sustainable holiday