Eco awareness

Eco awareness
Eco Eco Eco, Are you following the movement?

You find the word Eco everywhere these days; your car may have an eco mode, your refrigerator, vacuum, and dishwasher, water filters and many other home appliances may be eco or offer you the eco value. But it doesn’t stop there, plant fertilizers could be eco, your diving resort or school could be eco. Your scuba diving gear also could be Eco.

But what is Eco? Where is the word coming from? Is it real and is it worth following the Eco movement? All these questions and more will be covered in this blog.

What does Eco mean?

According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, Eco means habitat or environment. It comes from the Latin word “oeco” which means house. All these eco applications that we see everyday, aim at preserving the house of all living matters, our environment and our planet.

Eco or environmental awareness is important to understand the fragility of our environment and the importance of its protection.

What is Eco/Environmental awareness?

Before talking about environmental awareness we need first to explain a little about the environmentalist movement or Environmentalism, which is the ideology that evokes the necessity and responsibility of humans to respect, protect and preserve the natural world from us humans.

Promoting eco awareness starts with having a thorough understanding of our environmental issues. You can do that by staying up to date with environmental news, read books and other resources like this blog ☺

There are so many examples of our environmental issues like oil drilling, deforestation, production and management of plastic goods.

What can we do as scuba divers, snorkelers, and ocean and sea lovers?

We can start by being aware of the problem and understanding our role in minimizing the harm to our planet. PADI for example supports eco innovations and grants certain resorts the eco resort rating when certain rules are being followed in their operations. 

PADI eco resorts are committed to protecting areas that guests are travelling to see. We all want to go to a holiday that we feel good about at the end of the trip and this can be done by staying at resorts or using operators whose policies and infrastructure are designed to have a low impact on the marine environment and help the marine life to thrive in their natural habitat.

What about us, scuba divers? What can we do?

When you use an eco-friendly operator, you can volunteer in some of their environmental activities like seabed cleaning, coral nursery transplantation and maintenance. You can also learn how to be an eco scuba diver!

Once you are in the water, it is important to keep conservation in mind and remember these 7 tips:

Avoid damaging the reef while diving

Do not feed the animals

Do not manipulate, touch or remove anything from the water

Collect possible waste/garbage during your diving

Help animals that are in trouble due to human actions

Do no get too close to the marine life or make them feel trapped to avoid unnecessary tension

Use biodegradable sunscreen

Many of these tips sound easy but some of them may need some training and knowledge to complete these actions without actually causing harm. 

For example when it comes to garbage removal, make sure that this glass “bottle garbage” has not become a home for marine life.

To give you a better understanding, see the next 6 recommendations to become an eco friendly diver. The more you can achieve out of these six points the more Eco diver you become.

How to become an Eco Scuba diver?

Buoyancy control

We all learnt buoyancy control in our open water training. Some may get it quite easily but others may need to work more on it through their advanced training. But if you put even more effort and take the Peak performance buoyancy speciality, you will nail it at how to fly underwater. To fly underwater is something that we all strive to achieve.

Diving Natural
Gloves are a very debated topic in the dive industry on the basis if they are needed or not. In many tropical waters and marine parks they are completely prohibited. The argument is that they may give divers a false sense of security. This security may encourage divers to touch marine life without thinking. Some schools may allow them only while descending down a line for protection.

Do not let it go unnoticed
Creating awareness and educating other divers in eco friendly practices is not an easy task.  Acknowledging positive attitudes like eco focused dive briefings or correction of potentially harmful underwater behaviours by dive centre staff is very important.

Next time you are on a dive trip, keep an eye out for positive attitudes and let them know how good they are doing.

Remember your right to refuse
Overfishing is one of the biggest threats to the marine environment. Refusing to buy unsustainable fish options like parrotfish, snapper and groupers which are detrimental to the reef’s eco system will help lower the demand.

Start shopping in a sustainable way
One of the most bought souvenirs worldwide are shells causing international trade in them to be a huge market. By refusing to purchase shells and other ocean decorations, you are already making a difference in not being part of his industry.

Correct disposal of rubbish
Food wrappers, plastic bottles, cigarette butts are the main source of marine pollution from humans. Wether they were dropped on a beach or blown off a dive boat, they can cause serious harm to marine life. Cigarette butts are the most littered item in the world. It is estimated that 6 trillion cigarettes are manufactured each year and 65% of them are littered.

This is a problem for our oceans as rain runoff causes most of these cigarette butts to migrate on their own, into our world’s oceans.

Take only memories and leave only bubbles