During these first few weeks of January, you might still be trying to put together a list of goals, resolutions, or intentions for the year ahead. One thing we hope continues to be top of mind for divers and non-divers alike, is the state of our planet and the role that each one of us plays as human beings living here. As a 100 Percent AWARE dive shop, we would be remiss if we didn’t make this a focus of some or our 2020 aims, and we encourage all of our divers to join us in this effort.
Here are some suggestions for your annual list:
Earn a Conservation-Focused PADI Specialty Certification
Divers who resolve to further align their knowledge and skills with ocean conservation, should consider one of our conservation-focused Specialty Courses.
Dive Against Debris will give you the skills to pay it forward to the ocean by helping to clean it up on every dive (#MakeEveryDiveCount). Coral Reef Conservation will help you appreciate the complexity of coral reef habitats as well as teach you how you can help conserve these vital ecosystems. AWARE Shark Conservation will train you to be a knowledgeable and passionate advocate for sharks, above and below the surface.
For the Master Scuba Diver, go a step further and become an ECO-Master Scuba Diver. This certification includes all of the specialty courses plus a few more including whale shark and sea turtle conservation.
Taking part in any of or all three of these PADI Specialty Courses will surely create positive change in your life as well as the lives of the animals that call the ocean home.
Reduce Single-Use Plastics
As divers, we are well aware of the negative impacts that plastics are having on the ocean. If you’re looking to incorporate more ocean-minded actions into your daily life this year, start with reducing single-use plastics (we can’t emphasize this enough!).
Minor everyday changes have the power to positively impact your health as well as the health of the ocean. Switch single-use plastics for reusables when it comes to everyday items like water bottles, bags, straws, and toothbrushes, and encourage others to do the same.
Speak up in your offices, your schools, churches and gyms – anywhere you see single use plastics being used unnecessarily. Often it only takes one person to recommend a small change that can make a big difference for our oceans.
Eat a More Plant-Based Diet
Overfishing, bycatch, and abandoned fishing gear are some of the most prevalent issues facing the ocean globally. Warming ocean temperatures and changing ocean chemistry – due to climate change – are also major issues threatening the health of our ocean planet.
Making minor changes that allow for a more plant-based diet has the power to make big waves of change when it comes to health and sustainability. As we move into the new year, bring your love for the ocean into decisions about what ends up on your plate.
Contribute to Ocean Conservation Initiatives
Whether you volunteer your time, directly donate money, or fundraise for an ocean conservation organization, investing in the ocean protects our blue planet and allows the dive adventures to continue.
When we work together, as a global network of divers and ocean-lovers, we truly have the power to protect and conserve the underwater world – especially when we incorporate the ocean and the strength of our community into our daily life and habits, starting now.
Original article published by PADI and can be found here. Reposted and edited with permission.