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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Benefits of Organic Bamboo Clothing

By now, you’ve heard of cotton, organic and regular, hemp, linen, silk, wool, and cashmere, all natural fabrics that are exceptionally popular in the fashion industry, especially in the recent years. The health and fitness revolution have not only had an impact on how we do our grocery shopping and choose our gyms, but also on how we dress ourselves. To be more specific, the fashion world has started to change towards a more sustainable, durable realm, and the use of materials that fit that description are a significant part of the movement.

One especially healthy fabric, which has gained so much popularity lately, is organic bamboo, and while it may sound like an unexpected source, it represents one of the cleanest, healthiest fabrics for our clothes. If you’re still confused by the idea, let’s take a look at several key benefits of using it in producing clothes, which will change how you perceive fashion, as well as the industry itself.

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LEED: The way to a Sustainable Future with Sustainable Building Design [Infographic]

For many businesses, going green is a matter of changing the way they work. By reducing waste in their operations or using sustainable materials in their production, these businesses lessen their impact on the environment. However, these are not the only means through which companies can become more eco-friendly. In fact, many businesses can shrink the size of their ecological footprints through the places in which they work.

The U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED program provides builders and property owners with standards for energy efficiency and sustainability. Achieving LEED certification means a building exemplifies many of the principles behind sustainable building design. LEED-certified buildings are more environmentally friendly, which therefore helps the businesses inside of them reduce their overall impact on the planet. Even if they don’t employ other methods, sustainable building design helps businesses become greener.

Businesses in the green industry — or any that simply want to become more sustainable — need to understand LEED and what it means for their properties. There is a strict process through which buildings can become LEED-certified. Additionally, there are specific standards those properties must meet before they can be certified through the LEED program. Property owners and businesses also need to understand the different levels of LEED certification and what they mean.

The accompanying guide breaks down what LEED certification entails, and can serve as a helpful resource for any business working to go green.

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The Eco Guide to Bike-Sharing

We are tearing this planet apart – there’s too many of us, we’re practically walking (or, should we say, driving) pollution and the cause of global warming. Well, we’re trying to make up for it and make an everyday life a little bit more sustainable. One of the ways to do that is to share, but there is a question of a pretty bipolar economic and social impact of this strategy. Apparently, carbon emission is a less problem than the question who’s paying for the gas and who gets a free ride. It doesn’t mean that we don’t care about the planet, but we simply care much more about ourselves. That can be seen in the case of one of the most eco-friendly parts of sharing economy – the bike-sharing. Although the most eco-friendly places in the world (Denmark, Germany, Netherlands) have more than 70% cyclist out of the entire population, many countries still think that bike sharing services are important. Maybe the main reason for this lies in the fact that we are not sure about the size of the impact that bike sharing has on a climate change. Well, let’s take a look what every turn of the pedal brings.

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DIY Eco-Friendly Backyard

Every day we try to make our world a little bit greener. On a smaller personal level, it is all about shaping our habits and making our surrounding more eco-friendly. Of course, this also includes designs of our gardens and best materials to use. Planting local plants influences local flora and fauna and by designing a deck from upcycled timber we prolong its use and lower pollution. One garden may not save the world but it can set an example, so why not start from your own?

Here are some pointers on how to make your garden greener and more enjoyable for your family.

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