The theme of World Water Day 2024 is ‘Water for Peace’, emphasizing the vital role water plays in upholding global stability and promoting prosperity. Celebrated globally on 22 March, World Water Day is an opportunity to appreciate the many different ways that water benefits our lives. It’s also an important time to recognize ways to safeguard water (freshwater and saltwater) for everyone.

“If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water.” – Loren Eiseley

Today, water is under extreme threat from pollution, increasing demands of industry, and the worsening impacts of climate change. PADI is on a mission to unite a billion Ocean Torchbearers committed to seeking adventure and saving the ocean. We invite you to become a Torchbearer and join a community that cares deeply about healing our blue planet. Plus, here are eight easy ways you can help improve water quality right now, to better protect this vital and magical resource.

Microplastics found while doing a beach cleanup

1. Keep Microplastics Out of Your Local Waterways on Laundry Day

Microplastics (teeny tiny pieces of plastic) have become a huge global issue polluting freshwater and saltwater waterways around the world. Scientists have found that washing clothes is one of the primary sources of microplastics that end up in the ocean. With every wash, plastic fibers shed from synthetic fabrics are making their way from washing machines into the water.

One way to keep plastic microfibers out of your local waterways is to incorporate clothing made from natural, non-synthetic materials into your wardrobe as much as possible. Also, it’s always a good idea to follow Eco-Wash Guidelines on laundry day. By following these guidelines, we can actively contribute to reducing environmental pollution and safeguarding the health of aquatic ecosystems.

Image of a diver doing an underwater cleanup

2. Do a Cleanup – Above or Below the Surface

One of the simplest ways to help waterways in your local area is to do a cleanup. Whether you choose to do a cleanup above or below the surface, you’ll know that you’re making a direct positive impact on the health of the environment around you. With most land-based debris eventually making its way to the water, picking up litter anywhere in your neighborhood is great. It doesn’t matter how near or far you may be from a lake, river, or beach.

If you’re venturing below the surface, don’t let your dives go to waste – make #EveryDiveaSurveyDive with Dive Against Debris. Whether it’s a designated cleanup dive or not, you can always improve the health of your local dive site by removing debris. Plus, now you can turn every underwater adventure into a cleanup with Trshbg. Each Trshbg is made from recycled materials. This streamlined and highly functional hip bag allows every diver to be a Torchbearer for our blue planet.

Reusable water bottles from PADI

3. Help Fuel a Plastic Free Economy

Looking for a well-designed reusable water bottle that also sustainably fuels a plastic-free economy? Meet Ocean Bottle – the ultimate culmination of form, function, and hope for our blue planet as well as for local communities. Ocean Bottles are made from stainless steel, up-cycled ocean plastic, and BPA free bio-plastic. For every PADI X Ocean Bottle sold, 11.4 kilograms (25 pounds) of ocean-bound plastic is collected before it enters the ocean. That’s equivalent to 1,000 plastic bottles!

What’s more, all that recovered plastic waste is fueling social change for coastal communities in Indonesia, the Philippines, Brazil, and Haiti. Ocean Bottle has teamed up with The Plastic Bank to pay above-market rates to local plastic collectors and set up recycling infrastructure so that plastic can be collected, sold, and created into new products. Collectors receive digital tokens for their plastic waste to exchange for money, tuition, and healthcare – all via secure blockchain technology.

27% of sales from every PADI X Ocean Bottle go to The Plastic Bank. By purchasing, you’re helping to revolutionize the world’s recycling systems to create a regenerative, inclusive, and circular plastic economy.

Underwater image of divers doing a reef dive

4. Choose Travel Operators Focused on Sustainability

Planning your next dive trip? PADI Travel believes that discovering the underwater realm and caring for the ocean environment go hand in hand. The Eco Travel Collection from PADI Travel features dive resorts and liveaboards around the world that champion sustainable practices on land and in the water.

What Makes an Eco Travel Dive Resort or Liveaboard?

  1. Unwavering commitment to sustainable practices on land and in water
  2. Respectful and appropriate marine life encounters
  3. Direct involvement in local environmental initiatives and education

When booking with the providers that are a part of the Eco Travel Collection, you can rest assured that your choices are helping to achieve a healthy balance between humans and nature.

PADI Dorado (Mahi Mahi) Recycled Plastic Travel Towel

5. Incorporate Sustainability Into Your Consumer Behavior

Making small changes on an individual level can collectively result in big changes for our blue planet. Where possible, choose reusable, recyclable, and thoughtfully sourced products. Fueled by our shared passion for the underwater world, we’ve created an ocean-first marketplace that amplifies your ability to make a positive impact. PADI Gear offers the items you need – made out of materials that result in real change.

From face masks made of recycled ocean plastic, to rash guards made of retired fishing nets, to towels spun from ocean bound plastic, we’ve removed more than 55,000 pounds of plastic from the ocean thanks to consumers choosing these eco-friendly products. It’s an honor to offer thoughtfully curated items for those who love, value, and celebrate water.

Divers completing their PADI AWARE Specialty, Dive Against Debris

6. Earn a PADI AWARE Specialty Diver Certification

PADI Specialty courses authored by PADI AWARE help divers lead action on marine debris prevention, work towards shark and ray protection, and make an overall positive difference for our blue planet. For more than 25 years, PADI AWARE has been uniting water enthusiasts across the globe. Earning one of these three PADI AWARE Specialty certifications, you’ll learn valuable information to help safeguard waterways you love:

Other PADI Conservation Specialty Courses:

Use the PADI Dive Shop Locator or the PADI Adventures App to connect with a dive shop and instructor to start your course.

Scuba instructor going over environmental best practices

7. Dive With a PADI Eco Center

The PADI Eco Center designation is awarded to dive centers and resorts committed to conservation and sustainability in the dive industry. Through initiatives like Adopt the Blue, they actively promote marine biodiversity and community resilience by addressing global ocean challenges. These centers engage in citizen science, advocacy, and education to drive direct conservation action.

Partnering with The Reef-World Foundation’s Green Fins Initiative, PADI Eco Centers exemplify environmental best practices. They undergo substantial changes to educate staff and minimize their environmental footprint, making sustainability a core value.

For ocean enthusiasts, PADI Eco Centers provide a reliable option where their marine adventures support the protection of natural resources and the well-being of local communities.

Aerial image of a shark swimming through a school of fish

8. Donate to Ocean Protection

This World Water Day, make a meaningful impact by donating to the PADI AWARE Foundation. As a trusted, publicly funded non-profit organization with over three decades of experience, PADI AWARE is dedicated to global ocean conservation. With registered charities around the world, your support directly contributes to driving local action for the protection of our oceans.

Every donation, regardless of size, makes a difference. Join us in celebrating World Water Day by contributing to PADI AWARE and supporting their vital mission. Together, we can make waves for a healthier, more sustainable marine environment.

Underwater image of brain coral

The Healing Power of Water

As we recognize World Water Day, we invite you to think about the value of water. How is clean water important to your family, your livelihood, your culture, your wellbeing, and your environment?

By celebrating all the different ways water benefits our lives, and incorporating some or all of the eight tools detailed above, collectively we can value water properly and safeguard it effectively. Join us in living every day like it’s World Water Day!

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