Being an environmentally-conscious diver in the age of COVID can, at first glance, seem like a difficult thing to pull off. Luckily, there’s a lot we can do to preserve aquatic environments whilst keeping ourselves – and those around us – safe. Here’s some advice on doing just that;

Use a Reusable Face Mask

Masks are now the norm. Wherever we go, whether we’re diving, travelling or shopping, you’ll need your mask. Save on waste and prevent another disposable mask from entering the ocean by purchasing a reusable, washable face mask. Order one from PADI Gear, support a local business, or get crafty making your own at home. Your mask is just another way you can now share your personal style with the world.

Dive Marine Parks

With reduced travel volumes, some of the world’s most iconic marine parks are operating on a heavily reduced income. By diving in a marine protected area you can aid conservation simply by paying your entry fee.

Take Conservation Action

PADI is excited to announce the launch of the world-first marine conservation activities locator, designed to allow you to search, find and book fins on and fins off conservation activities offered by PADI Dive Centers, Resorts and Professionals. Make your next trip count by getting involved in restorative action that supports a healthier balance between humanity and the ocean. Visit from World Oceans Day (June 8th) onwards to explore!

Choose a Sustainable Dive Shop

Who you choose to stay and dive with matters when it comes to planetary health. Not all operators have the same environmental footprint, so do your research and find dive centers and resorts that best align with your values. Check out our articles on responsible travel and avoiding greenwashing, or visit PADI Travel’s Eco Collection for inspiration. When in doubt, look for Green Star, 100% AWARE and Green Fins membership.  

Keep Reusable Options Handy

An unfortunate side effect of Covid-19 is an increased amount of plastic pollution. In line with many government regulations, businesses are only supplying disposable items rather than reusable options. Keeping your own reusables close at hand allows you to refuse plastics on the spot where possible and reduce waste. Grab your bag, stick a water bottle and/or coffee cup and utensils in there and you’re good to go!

Smart Sanitization

It’s no secret that cleaning agents are harmful to the aquatic environment, so try to dive with shops that have a green sanitization strategy. They tend to be more cautious with their product use and dispose of chemicals correctly. To do a deeper dive into the best environmental cleaning practices, check out Green Fins guidelines, and remember to apply these practices at home too.

Wash Your Hands

Sanitizer gels contain ingredients that harm marine life when released into the ocean (a.k.a. as you descend!). Where possible, skip the sanitizer gels and wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water instead. If you feel more comfortable carrying a hand sanitizer with you, look for natural alternatives, like Stream2Sea’s ocean-friendly spray.

Collect Debris

When you see a discarded face mask – or any litter – pick it up and dispose of it properly. Save marine life from getting tangled, and do your bit to clean up our planet. If you want to get involved in the largest marine debris citizen science project on the planet, check out our guidance on How to Become a Diver Against Debris.

At the end of the day, it’s not about being perfect. It’s about all of us doing what we can within our power to make a difference. Making an effort to consider the environment, even in a global pandemic, sets the right example for others to follow. With a little thought, we can all look forward to a healthier future, for our communities and the ocean.

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