I have travelled to many UNESCO World Heritage sites. Zanzibar Stone Town in Tanzania, Kathmandu Valley in Nepal, the Medina of Fez in Morocco, Robben Island in South Africa, The Great Barrier Reef in Australia, the Grand Canyon in the USA, the rock-hewn Churches of Lalibela in Ethiopia, Lavaux Vineyard Terraces in Switzerland (below), to name a few.
I wondered what the listing actually meant, so of course I googled it.
This got me wondering even more.
If these sites are to be passed on to future generations, why do we do so little when some are so threatened?
Kilwa Kisiwani, Tanzania
I don’t think I’ll ever lose my wanderlust. It ebbs and flows like the tides on my doorstep here in Western Australia. Sometimes the pull to stay ‘home’ is strong: when the beach beckons, and the outdoor lifestyle is easy, with good food, wines and friendships.
Then there are times when the lure of new shores overwhelms, the draw of old haunts tempt, and the need to leave this remote city to return to the familiar people and places of my formative years is stronger than the urge to stay.
The word green has so many different connotations. It might simply be a colour, although nowadays it often has a more ideological meaning. It can be an adjective, noun or a verb. It’s the colour of harmony, balance, growth and renewal.
In describing people as green, I used to have an image, as many others do, of someone who wore hair-shirts, was vegan, didn’t use plastic bags and drove a Prius if they owned a car at all.
We don’t all have to wear hair-shirts. Yet I am someone who, when I get the occasional plastic bag, will wash it out to reuse it. I’ll make sure that I upcycle, reuse or repurpose anything rather than throw it in the bin.
Amongst other things, I go on protests to save and protect our environment or promote social justice and equity, and I also take the easy route of e-activism. I campaign to get Green members elected into parliament. I don’t eat meat. And I try not to leave too much of a footprint when I travel.
Even though I live in a city, I’m blessed that I’m still surrounded by my little haven of green – large gum trees that attract cockatoos; small native plants that flower, attracting insects and birds; grape and passionfruit vines; citrus and other fruit trees; and a veggie patch.
For those of us who are so fortunate, it’s easy to be green.