What are your diver resolutions for 2020? Still kicking ideas around? Let me suggest joining me in a Seek Adventure; Save the Ocean resolution to have at least 20 dive adventures, take at least 20 actions to preserve and protect the seas, and to personally invite at least 20 people to be Torchbearers who do the same.
This “20 in 2020” Torchbearer resolution differs from a lot of typical new year resolutions in three ways. First, unlike a lot of New Year resolutions, it’s one we can really keep because we’ll want to. Every 17 or 18 days (on average), we make a cool dive, do something to protect the ocean, and invite someone to do it with us. Who wouldn’t want to do that?
Second, this resolution really makes a difference. It’s good for you because adventures and adventure sports help us grow personally by (among other things) broadening our perspectives, teaching us new skills, promoting our inner well-being and developing our adaptability. It’s good for the world because going greener, gathering and sharing marine data and encouraging protective activism are essential for a preferred version of our environmental future. It’s good for society because diving enhances people’s lives with personal benefits, and adds to the number of those making and advocating the essential changes the ocean needs. Considering what diving offers, it’s a bit selfish to not share it, don’t you think?
Third, it’s really satisfying, fun and rewarding. Have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too isn’t common, but here it is. As Torchbearers for the ocean we can do a lot of good and have a great time doing it. Here are some ideas to get your twenty in 2020 going:
- See your PADI Dive Center about new dive sites to explore near home.
- Travel somewhere you’ve never been diving.
- Try something new at familiar sites (night dive, try new gear, etc.).
- Get informed and trained. Take a diving conservation specialty every month — become a PADI Master Scuba Diver.
- Get some new gear that lets you do something new or different.
- Meet other Torchbearers and new buddies through your PADI Resort or Dive Center’s dive club, social events and the PADI Club.
Save the Ocean.
- Adopt at least one new, environmentally conscious habit every month.
- Make every dive count. There are literally dozens of opportunities to do some cool diving and help the ocean at the same time. For example, you can Dive Against Debris with Project AWARE to survey and remove debris, including adopting a dive site. Initiatives such as coral farms and conservancies (like this one) rely on volunteer divers for the human power they need to accomplish their work.
- Offset your carbon footprint by planting sea grass and other innovative ways that help the hydrosphere.
- Stay current on environmental issues and lend your voice (esignature) when it’s needed.
- Learn, practice and role model environmentally friendly diving.
- Be a sea-responsible buyer. If you eat seafood, consume sustainably.
- Recycle something you used to throw away. Innovations make yesterday’s trash today’s recyclables.
Share the Adventure. Share the Ocean.
- Photo/video your dives and post the what/why/where of your adventures on social media.
- Similarly, post links to promote esigning petitions, pledges and campaigns to protect the seas.
- Next time you visit your local PADI dive operation, take along that “he/she-ought to-be-a-Torchbearer” for a personal introduction.
- Even better, become a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor and share diving and environmental consciousness directly as an influencer and Torchbearer.
- Volunteer for adaptive scuba for divers with special challenges. As part of the Pillars of Change, the PADI family is committed to healing and wellness through diving. One way we do this is by helping those with physical or mental challenges who would benefit get into diving, and by supporting organizations and dive centers that specialize in this. These dive centers always need volunteers, so reach out – you’ll never forget the lives you change.
Have a great start to great diving in 2020. Seek adventure. Save the ocean. Join us and commit to being a Torchbearer.
Dr. Drew Richardson
PADI President & CEO