10 Deadly Sins of the Unaware Tourist – contest

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The contest, titled: 10 Sins of the Unaware Tourist, is an attempt to draw attention to our, often clueless, schematic behavior while on the water, which can harm the environment. No activity is without an impact on the ecosystem, so this issue of Water Matters is dedicated to environmental footprints and making informed consumer choices.

The weather is favorable, the vacation season has arrived, we headed to lakes, rivers or the sea for a well-deserved rest. The 10 sins of the ignorant tourist are nothing more than a list of activities we should avoid while enjoying the benefits of nature. However, we do not leave you with the conviction that you should not act in this way, “because you do”. We clearly emphasize the consequences of our “sins” for the water environment.

Contest – how to participate?

We announced the contest on our profile on Instagram. All you have to do is follow three simple steps to participate:

  1. observe our profile on Instagram;
  2. Like and share the contest post in your account;
  3. comment on the contest post, in a few words answering the question: how will I conserve/save water during the vacations?

The prize in the contest is a Polaroid camera of a well-known brand. With it you will capture all the beautiful moments spent on the water. You can find the details of the contest and the rules here.

We hope that your participation in the contest will help spread awareness of ways to protect such a precious resource that water is for all of us.

We, for our part, will repeat appeals for prudence during holiday trips, so below we remind you of the 10 cardinal sins of the ignorant tourist.

10 Deadly Sins of the Unaware Tourist

#1 Illegal jetties, wild bathing and mooring in reeds, or destruction of the buffer zone

The creation of land-based water access sites involves the destruction of a natural buffer, which fundamentally contributes to increased water pollution, habitat conversion or degradation and animal habitat. Use legally organized places to access water. Don’t create and avoid using wild beaches and swimming areas or illegal piers. If you’re sailing, try to avoid entering or stopping in the reeds to avoid damaging vegetation and scaring off animals. Mooring boats to trees is also a very un-ecological activity.

#2 Burning campfires outside of designated areas, i.e. why so much PAH?

For many of us, a campfire is one of the most enjoyable aspects of relaxing in nature. However, we should remember to burn them safely, in places designated and prepared for this purpose. According to the law, a bonfire can be burned no less than 100 meters from the forest boundary and no less than 10 meters from the fields. It would be great if we also provided a distance of at least 100 m from the lake shore. And finally, always remember to put it out.

#3 Physiological needs in the bush, or additional nitrogen supply

Taking care of physiological needs in the proverbial bushes is not only unsightly and unhygienic, but also a burden on the environment. Always try to use designated areas for this purpose. If you sail, make sure your yacht is equipped with the right type of toilet, emptied in ports designed to receive sewage, not into the water! However, if you need to take care of your needs in the field, be sure to do it at least 100 meters from the shore or even further away. And don’t forget the shovel!

#4 Using detergent to wash in the lake, or an extra dose of phosphorus

Laundry detergents, cleaners or dishwashing detergents contain harmful chemicals that contribute to eutrophication, resulting in reduced water clarity, oxygen deficiency, fish die-offs and the disappearance of many plant and animal species. Therefore, remember – bathe in the lake, but wash on land. If you don’t have access to a bathroom, wash ashore at least 100 meters from the shore, pouring your waste there. And don’t be fooled by catchy labels that declare eco-friendliness or biodegradability – it’s often just plain bullshit.

#5 Boat fuel and parking lot runoff, or oil pollution

Vehicle traffic and the pollution it generates increase the risk of compounds and substances responsible for chemical exceedances in water and sediment. If you are using a diesel-powered boat, always ensure that fuel does not get into the water. If you are going to the water by car, park in a legal place as far from the shore as possible. Driving close to the water destroys riparian vegetation and increases surface erosion, intensifying the runoff of matter into the waters, but also poses the risk of pollution from exhaust fumes and spills.

#6 Motor boats, or fun at the expense of ecosystem residents

Motor boats of various types affect aquatic ecosystems through exhaust fumes, fuel and operating material spills, and generated noise and wave action. The effects of noise are primarily animal scaring. Increased water movement mechanically destroys vegetation, for example, very valuable ramshackle meadows, has a negative impact on littoral animal habitats or fish spawning grounds, increases sediment resuspension, contributing to an increase in water turbidity. For enthusiasts of faster swimming or in situations where it is warranted, we recommend electric motors.

#7 Garbage on the beach, or plastic in the water

Trash on the shore and in the water not only looks unsightly, but can also pose a threat to the inhabitants of the ecosystem. Plastic packaging, not only does it decompose very slowly (a plastic bottle as long as 1,000 years), but it also produces harmful compounds, as well as microplastics. Always remember to dispose of garbage in the containers intended for this purpose. If there is no trash can nearby – take your trash with you and dispose of it when you have the opportunity. Never use a bonfire as a place to dispose of them. Trash must not only be burned in domestic stoves – campfires are subject to the same rules!

#8 Cigarette butts, or the periodic table

Cigarette butts are the most common form of trash, with 4.5 trillion discarded worldwide each year. Some of it goes directly into the environment. And such a cigarette can contain more than 4,000 substances created in the process of cigarette production and tobacco combustion. Studies indicate that as little as less than one cigarette butt per liter of water can cause a deadly threat to aquatic organisms. Never throw cigarette butts into water or burn them in a campfire. If you smoke, collect the cigarette butts and dispose of them in a designated place.

#9 Fishing baits, or miracle-whiskers

Fishing is a common form of recreation in Poland. This is a commendable and recommendable activity, but provided that it is done without excessive zeal. The negative impact of angling on the aquatic ecosystem is primarily expressed in the increased supply of nutrients due to the use of bait. It undergoes decomposition in water, which accelerates oxygen depletion and provides nutrients. Along with the groundbait, other strange substances enter the water, such as attractants of undefined composition (including artificial flavors). If you’re fishing for pleasure, avoid using groundbait, and you won’t contribute to increasing fertility and deteriorating water quality.

#10 Strange water sports, or water armageddon

And finally, a few more words about various modern recreational activities on the water, i.e. all kinds of quadding, wakeborading, diving and other forms of environmental devastation. They contribute to the destruction of vegetation, degradation of plant and animal habitats, fish spawning grounds, and generate noise and wave action. Noise frightens animals, mainly fish and birds, and increased wave action destroys underwater vegetation and rushes, and increases sediment resuspension. Their cultivation provides contact with nature and an unforgettable experience, but for the ecosystem it is a kind of armageddon. Before you become fascinated with this form of recreation, think about its impact on the ecosystem.

The contest is a chance for your vote – share your ideas for water conservation!

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