Many new divers will tell you how scuba diving changed their world. As I force (I mean, convince) more of my friends to complete the Discover Scuba Diving course, I keep raving on about how they haven’t lived until they’ve discovered the underwater world.
Not only has getting certified as a PADI Diver allowed me to explore a space of the planet that I had never imagined being so magical, but it has also opened my eyes to a whole new world of conservation.
Before learning to dive I knew that the world was struggling, that we needed to put in more efforts with regards to sustainability and our focus on the eco-friendly. But it wasn’t until I took my first breath underwater and saw the effects of our ways of living that I realized what it all meant.
On my first dive during the PADI Open Water Diver Certification I saw plastic bags, straws and old cans of soda floating around and lying on the bottom of the ocean. I saw my instructor shake his head and pick it all up. Moving forward, I now try to use minimal amounts of plastic, and pick up what I find on the ocean floor when I’m diving.
Another way conservation has made its way onto my (and many other’s) radar via diving is through underwater photography and videography. New (and experienced) divers are not only discovering the underwater world, they are also capturing moments under the sea that many people will never get to experience. This also means that the importance of conservation and the preservation of all species surrounding us is put in front of a larger audience.
When learning to dive I quickly discovered that there are whole communities sharing their dive experiences, tips and advice across social media. Through Facebook groups, Instagram feeds and Twitter hashtags, divers are not only asking questions and telling people about their favourite dive spots – they are also pointing the spotlight towards the importance of conservation.
By learning to dive I have not only strengthened my knowledge of conservation and the importance of sustainability. I have now seen the consequences of not treating the world right with my own eyes and am now a proud part of a community that strives to make a difference.
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