With a great amount of luck and (lots) of searching amongst the dozens of travel websites, I was fortunate enough to have found a relatively cheap ticket to Taiwan where I spent the last week and a half. While over there, the majority of my time was spent immersed in the incredible natural landscape that engulfs this small island-nation. As one of the most densely mountainous regions in the entire world, Taiwan’s natural beauty rivals some of the greatest in my own opinion. Throughout my trip here, I attempted to observe the sustainable efforts made by these people that cherish this beautiful landscape.
While the majority of Taiwan’s natural landscape was incredibly well maintained, I could not help but take notice of the massive industrial sectors that I passed on the outskirts on the edges of metropolitan centers, on my way to these illustrious landscapes. As a global industrial leader in consumer electronics, Taiwanese factories are all over the landscape and very hard to miss. Their products dominate the nation as well, as huge portions of public transit users can be found reading or playing games on tablets or smart phones of various kinds. Throughout the entire trip, I felt this weird dichotomy between the traditional and modern as I went in between these two spheres.
I applaud the strides that Taiwan seems to boast in terms of sustainability, whether seen grandiose examples like the nation’s immaculate natural beauty, or simple observations like the great number of recycling bins across public lands. It is clear that Taiwan see’s the benefit of sustainability in multiple ways: from the economic to the social purposes, it pays to be green.
One striking parallel that I saw between Taiwan and the United States is the current water crisis that is burdening both nations. As I’m sure nearly all Californians and many other Americans know about the historic draught plaguing the golden state, I doubt that most have heard about a similar issue occurring within Taiwan as well. Throughout my time in Taipei and other cities, I saw similar conservation efforts that were being done in California to help curb water use. Signs reading, “Conserve Water, Love Your Planet” in the local dialect decorated public water sources as well as other similar efforts.
All-in-all, the trip’s observations in this framework further illuminated our ultimate need for greater monitoring, tracking, and analyzing of sustainable efforts across the globe. Whatever level of analysis it may be such as national, municipal, individual, or even at the corporate level, the need for greater sustainability is needed now more than ever and this need will continue to grow. How are you going to contribute to this sustainable movement?