The movie Avatar: The Way of Water is a powerful reminder of the importance of our planet’s oceans, rivers, and other bodies of water. Water is essential for all life on Earth, and without it, we simply would not exist. But despite its importance, we have not always treated our water planet with the respect and care that it deserves.

For centuries, humans have exploited and polluted our planet’s waters. We have burned forests, drained wetlands, and contaminated rivers and oceans with toxic chemicals and waste. We have overfished, hunted whales to the brink of extinction, and destroyed countless species of aquatic life. All of this has taken a toll on our water planet, and it is up to us to take action to protect it.

A few weeks ago, I took a scuba diving trip with my sister to Malaysia’s Borneo to watch turtles hatching and running for the ocean to start their adventures in life. Sipadan island is the crown jewel of that region and a protected national preserve. The diving was superb in Borneo; a mixture of giant turtles and muck diving with also beautiful coral reefs. A bit of a blend between Egypt, Indonesia and the Philippines with a splash of Fiji.

But, I have to be honest. While the underwater realm was beautiful, above the sea the surroundings were heart breaking. The islands were covered with trash, even the national park where we paid a lot of money to dive in pristine conditions. In particular, plastic bottle tops and Styrofoam pieces were washed in and out of the water. Just the perfect size pieces for marine life to choke on. On a dive as we performed our safety stop, we came across a ghost net covering an entire reef with dying colorful fish entangled in the net everywhere. I understand that the locals have to eat, but there are just so many tiny creatures, turtles and sharks that become the victims of this type of fishing.

One of the key ways that we can protect our water planet is by living in alignment with nature. This means using resources sustainably, reducing waste, and minimizing our impact on the environment. We can do this by adopting practices such as reducing plastic use, conserving water, and using eco-friendly cleaning products. We can also support initiatives that promote the protection of our water planet, such as marine protected areas and sustainable fishing practices.

As a leader in the dive community and an inductee into the Women Divers’ Hall of Fame, I feel I have a duty to live an exemplary life. Inspired by others who use up-cycled fishing nets and surfboards, I found it a natural fit to find ways to reuse scuba parts. I  repurpose discarded bits to create jewelry pieces that are both industrial and earthy. You can see my entire Zero Waste Jewelry Collection here, including my Turtle Tracks Amazonite Wrap Bracelet and my Turtle Tracks Bracelet, both of which are designed to raise money for the turtle conservation on Borneo.

Living in alignment with nature also means recognizing the importance of interconnectedness between all living things. Just as the Na’vi in Avatar revered and protected the natural world around them, we too must recognize that we are a part of a larger ecosystem and act accordingly. When we harm the environment, we harm ourselves and future generations.

So, let us commit to protecting our water planet and living in alignment with nature. Let us honor the interconnectedness of all living things and take action to ensure that our planet remains healthy and vibrant for generations to come. By doing so, we can create a better future for ourselves and for all life on Earth.

Author Biography – Szilvia Gogh

This article was written by guest blogger Szilvia Gogh, Professional Scuba Diver, Underwater Stunt Woman, Youth Mentor & Ocean Inspired Jewelry Designer.

Szilvia’s life is about creativity, inspiration, travel and survival. Szilvia Gogh was the youngest female in the world to become a PADI Course Director. A PADI AmbassaDiver, she has been teaching scuba diving from beginners to dive instructors for over nearly two decades in her native Hungary, as well as Malta, UK, Thailand and California. Szilvia works in front of the camera as an adventure show host as well as she is an accomplished stunt woman. She provides water safety and trains talent to breath underwater when working behind the scenes on movies. Szilvia has an incredible passion and drive and this is what has motivated her to pay in forward and give back. For the past 15 years she has volunteered to work with “at-risk” youth in Los Angeles.

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