Day 7: The Impact of Tourism...
The tourism industry has become a huge part of Xizhou's economy, especially in the past 4 years. Xizhou has witnessed rapid growth with a constant flow of people entering and leaving. As a part of my inquiry work, I investigated the positive and negative impacts of tourism in Xizhou on the environment and textile industry. The following of what I have written doesn't exactly relate to my topic, but ever since I heard the concept of tourism, I couldn't help wanting to find out more...
Since tourism is an important contributor to Xizhou's economy, government officials have been able to put this money to good use, making a positive impact on the environment. I've noticed that almost every household uses solar energy to heat their water, including our home, the Yang Zhuo Ran. These solar panel systems have mostly been funded by the government. In addition, I've seen many stands along the roadside with small wind turbines and solar panels. The government has funded these stands as well. All these government-funded examples are sources of renewable energy, which is energy from a source that cannot be depleted when used. Wind and solar power are great sources of renewable energy because harnessing the wind or sunlight will not exhaust the atmosphere or the sun. Today, using renewable energy is an important alternative to fossil fuels. Burning fossil fuels adds greenhouse gases to the air, which raises Earth's global temperature. By using renewable energy, we are reducing carbon emission. And through the tourism's economic gain, the government was able to fund renewable energy.
On the other hand, tourism has also had significant negative impacts on Xizhou's environment. Walking through Xizhou, I’ve noticed how even the narrowest of alleyways were made dangerous by tourist buses. The alleyways of Xizhou used to be reserved for people and people only. It was a place for villagers to walk to and fro, a place isolated from the main roads. Today, however, these buses roam the streets, beeping and emitting fumes. With the significant increase in the Chinese population, more factories are being built that are producing greater amounts of textiles (and/or other products). These factories are transmitting harmful substances into the environment that are not only impacting its neighbors but the country of China itself. Not only is this a disturbance to Xizhou’s silence; it releases a dangerous amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. This heightens the greenhouse effect, trapping more of Earth’s heat and raising the global temperature.
Overall, tourism has both positive and negative impacts on the environment. By encouraging tourists to walk, however, we can drastically decrease our carbon footprint. It is important to support the many textile artists that are slowly losing their businesses from the constantly growing amounts of machinery made textiles. As a community, we must focus on making a positive impact and saving our planet.
As a part of my research, I went to visit Mr. Wang's family, who are greatly known in their village for producing handmade baskets. Unfortunately, Mr. Wang wasn't available at the time, so his kind daughter had helped me answer my questions. The answers to these questions were detailed and descriptive, and I am so grateful for this amazing experience. Mr. Wang's daughter had taught me how to cut bamboo and to weave a basket. This is an opportunity that I will never forget, for handmade baskets require an undefinable amount of skill, admiration, and patience.
* This journal post has been changed due to minor complications, for the rest of my journals, click here.