Patrick J. Endres/AlaskaPhotoGraphics/Corbis
Chris Clor/Blend Images/Corbis
For years, the global population has been steadily moving toward more environmentally friendly products and practices. We reduce, re-use and recycle. We’re carrying fewer plastic bags and embracing more eco-friendly modes of transport. Still, despite our best efforts, the earth is suffering. Extreme temperatures, hurricanes, tornadoes and droughts are wracking our planet while glaciers are melting faster than ever. The truth is that no matter what we do, we’ll never be able to return the Earth to its former condition. Although we still care about the planet and will continue to do our best to preserve it, more people are beginning to realize that nature as we know it may eventually disappear. As a result, there’s a new rush to experience and enjoy the world’s natural wonders before they’re gone. Gen X and Y, in particular, are feeling an increased sense of urgency to explore the planet’s natural surroundings, placing a premium on experiencing pristine natural environments, landscapes and wildlife while they still can. Climbers want to scale mountains before the snows melt while other travelers want to explore the rainforests before they’re devoid of wildlife. Our appreciation of Mother Nature is transferring to the digital world as well, where images of untouched habitats have devoted Tumblr followings. Virtual tourism is also on the rise, allowing travelers to experience remote, unspoiled lands through their computers and mobile devices. Whether experiencing nature first hand or through a computer screen, we’re recognizing more than ever that we’d better enjoy it while it lasts.
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