As scuba divers and snorkellers, we are naturally huge lovers of the seas and so our desire to protect and care for it is strong. So could we be using this time at home to become eco-friendlier?
Many of you will have seen the recent news saying that our oceans could be successfully restored in the next 30 years. This is obviously fantastic news and something to celebrate, but it comes with a warning that the window for action is narrow and we must act.
The big challenge is climate change, which is raising sea levels and making the waters more acidic. But the scientific review also stated the need to move closer toward reducing pressure on fish stocks and tackle elements of pollution, such as plastic litter.
We ocean-lovers are always keen to protect the environment but, we’re all busy. As much as we try to reduce our plastic-usage and carbon footprint, life is made easier by these not-so-good things and sometimes we just don’t have the time to be our eco-friendliest selves.
But can we now do more?
Some of us have just come into a great deal more time on our hands with no idea what to do with it. How about doing your bit to become even more environmentally friendly? Here are some thoughts on how to do that from home…
1. Audit your carbon footprint
What is your carbon footprint? Perhaps we think we’re eco-conscious but are we, actually? Most of us have no clear idea of how big our own carbon footprint is, so maybe now is the time to work it out. Find out what you’re putting out into the world and then evaluate how to lessen it. Treat it like a new project and make a project plan with key indicators to evaluate how well you’re doing along the way. There are various organisations that can help. You may want to try:
2. Consider, again, your plastic usage
Many of us are really good for a few weeks or months but then plastic has a habit of creeping in again. Research is one of the key aspects of reducing the plastic you use, and now with more time on our hands, perhaps it’s the ideal moment to get on with some research. There are so many eco-friendly solution companies out there so look into it! Look in your plastic recycling bin and to work out where most of it is coming from, then look for solutions. A few tips:
- Buy loose fruit and veg and if possible meat and fish from counters where there’s less or no plastic wrapping
- Learn how to make (or buy) your own beeswax wrap and throw out the cling film
- Try a company like ‘Who gives a crap’ for toilet paper and kitchen roll (although granted, their supplies may be challenged right now!)
3. Shop locally and ethically
The current environment is encouraging everyone to do this no matter what as we all pitch in together to help our own communities. While non-essential shopping is currently reduced to internet shopping (which, if you’re thinking of Amazon, is not the eco-friendliest) there are still some local small businesses running which not only support your local community but also can be more climate-conscious.
4. Find new fish feasts
You can play a key role in helping secure the future of our seas and marine wildlife by making more environmentally-responsible choices when buying seafood.
Maybe with the time we have, we could be trying new seafood and trying to eat more sustainably, as well as locally. Marine Conservation Society (MCS) has an extensive list of seafood with sustainability ratings, as well as handy guides of what to look for when buying your favourite fish to ensure its responsibly sourced, or when replacing a red-rated fish with something better for the oceans. Check out the MCS Good Fish Guide.
5. Create an environmental plan for your club
We think generally BSAC divers are pretty eco-friendly already with their community spirit of sharing lifts and other resources, litter picks and generally diving more locally. However, we can all most likely do more.
At some point, we will all be let out. When that time comes, perhaps you could be ready with a new environmental plan or policy for your dive club? Or maybe you could come up with a new club-based eco project?
Photo: Ben Burville