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Monday, December 2, 2013

The Reef Alliance Guide to a Sustainable 'Sea'son

This year Reef Alliance is compiling unique and inspired ways to recycle or upcycle (reusing in a way that creates a product of higher value than the original) for the Holidays. Reef Alliance is a program committed to protecting the most fragile and endangered eco system in our world—our coral reefs. Sub Sea Systems, its programs (Sea TREK, Dolphin TREK and SHARKS!), and its licensees are proud, active members of Reef Alliance.

The Reef Alliance program requires sustainable diving practices by its operations; additionally, the program’s key goals include: environmental responsibility, consumer awareness, participant education and pro-active conservation.

Through education, awareness and action Reef Alliance members aid in the survival of both Mother Nature and eco-tourism. Staff members have the responsibility to educate as well as entertain. In addition to taking an interest in their local environment and its familiar marine inhabitants, it is mandatory that all staff take the Reef Alliance pledge. The final line of the pledge states the goals of Reef Alliance the best:

“I will endeavor to educate each and every guest about endangered species, reef 
conservation, and responsible diving practices. 
It is my responsibility to respect and share the privilege of exploring our ocean realm with each and every guest. I pledge to take only photos and leave only bubbles. I am committed to behavior that assures the least amount of impact on our ecosystem.”
Reef Alliance members educate people about native fish, sand dollars, sea stars, crabs, rays, corals, snails, and many more sea creatures. They share interesting details about feeding habits, anatomy, habitats, and other unique facts. They also educate people about the importance of not freely touching the marine life or coral, and keeping our oceans clean and debris free.

The Reef Alliance pledge helps spread knowledge concerning the impact we have on the environment— both good and bad.

Additionally, Reef Alliance holds an annual event called Reef Alliance Day shore and reef cleanup. Reef Alliance members and many other local business get involved. Since its debut in 2009, Reef Alliance has recovered thousands of pounds of debris, and each year an award is given to the Reef Alliance Member that organizes and participates in the best project. Sea Adventures St.Lucia has been the award recipient for the last 2 years!

Here at Sub Sea Systems’ corporate headquarters we also participate in the cleanup, and although we do not go to the ocean, we are still stopping trash from reaching the sea. This year we helped clean up trash along Hangtown creek in Placerville, Ca. Our efforts removed 260 lbs of rubbish; all garbage that could have reached the ocean. Understanding that all waterways lead to the sea is very important. Being aware of how our waste affects not only our local environment, but also the world— is the first step. Even when trash goes to the dump, there is no guarantee it will stay there. Wind, rain and erosion take a lot of trash from the dump to the sea.

This Holiday season Reef Alliance is focusing on ways to keep as much trash out of the environment as possible. As we all know, the Holidays generate a lot of trash. From the boxes and packaging that come by mail, to the wrapping paper, ribbons and tags that fill the bins Christmas morning, it is apparent there is a lot of garbage. Here at Sub Sea Systems we reuse or recycle all of our shipping materials, but at home you may not have as many ways to use your materials as we do. Some simple ways to reuse and upcycle during the holidays, include:

  • Keep a box to save all of your bows, boxes and bags (the ones that survive the kids) — they can be used to wrap gifts again!
  • Use the reverse side of paper grocery bags for wrapping. Everyone does a lot of grocery shopping over the holidays; why not use those bags to wrap your gifts? Allow kids to decorate them with markers and glitter or add your own style with sharpies or paint. Some stores even print tags and Christmas décor on their bags!
  • Still get the printed paper? A very Chic way to wrap gifts is in newspaper; you could even make sure the crossword is on the front and write in the recipient’s name.

For our complete guide to reducing waste this season, visit our Pinterest board— Sustainable 'SEA'son.

Follow Sea TREK® Helmet Diving Sustainable 'SEA'son on Pinterest