Environmental Impact of Tourism on Coastlines [Infographic]

Saving Our Beaches: Engineering Solutions for Tourists’ Impact

Everyone loves a beach vacation. In colder climates especially, more and more people are taking advantage of cheap airfares for a long weekend of sunbathing and swimming in the dead of winter. In fact, 12 of the top 15 destinations were in coastal countries.

In 1995, there were around 528 million international tourist arrivals. That number jumped to 1.138 billion in 2014, and emerging economies are experiencing faster tourism growth than advanced economies, making the increase in tourism an important part of many countries’ growth.

Local economies encourage increased tourism, as it helps to grow local wealth and jobs that pay well. Unfortunately, this relaxing trend is having some serious consequences on the environment that may outweigh the economic benefits.

Some of the downsides of increased tourism include resort development, boating, snorkeling, diving, and fishing, cruise ship presence, litter, coral reef damage, and even the creation of artificial beaches. These activities introduce toxins and other harmful substances, cause physical damage and sedimentation, and exploit local fish populations.

So what can be done to preserve the benefits of tourism for developing economies while balancing the need for environmental responsibility? Engineers have a few ideas. Eco-friendly roofing systems, designs that catch rainwater for later use, innovative wastewater management, and considering the landscape when constructing resorts and hotels can all help to reduce the impact tourists have on the local environment.

These innovative solutions are key for helping to ensure that tourists, locals, the local environment, and wildlife can all exist harmoniously now and in the future. Find out more about how serious the problems caused by coastal tourism have become and how engineers are working to solve them with this resource from Ohio University’s Master of Science in Civil Engineering Program.

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Cigarette Butts and the Environment [Infographic]

This infographic outlines the impact cigarettes have on the environment. It really is incredible that 4.5 trillion cigarettes are littered worldwide every year. Many of these cigarette parts end up in our rivers and end up killing thousands of marine animals annually.

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Truth About Plastic [Infographic]

Did you know EVERY piece of plastic ever made still exists today?!

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Streets after New Year’s walk

We arrived finally home and on Sunday we went for a walk enjoying there was no rain anymore. There was a beautiful landscape since we went to the fields near Pfaffengrund in Heidelberg (where we live). Sunset was nice and we took the time to really talk, enjoy the quiet streets and just being back at home.

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Is Chewing Gum harmful to the Environment? [Infographic]

Brought to you by Custom Made

A Sticky Problem

Whether it’s being used as a mid-day breath refresher or on the playground to see who can blow the biggest bubble—chewing gum is a daily habit for many people. But what happens when you’re done chewing it? 80–90% of chewing gum is not disposed of properly and it’s the second most common form of litter after cigarette butts.

Chewing gum is made from polymers which are synthetic plastics that do not biodegrade. When it’s tossed on the sidewalk, there it sits until it’s removed which can be a costly, time consuming process. Littered gum can also make it’s way into the food chain. It has been found in fish where it can accumulate toxins over time. Sustainable chewing gums have been produced. These gums are natural, biodegradable substances. Cities are also implementing gum receptacles to cut down on waste. In a six month period these trash cans cut down on littered gum by 72%.

Next time you get ready to toss your gum, consider aiming for a trash can instead of the side walk.