Sustainable Tourism: Tiny changes that make a big difference

What is sustainability? Why is it important? Here is the dictionary definition:

noun

1.

the ability to be sustained, supported, upheld, or confirmed.

2.

Environmental Science. the quality of not being harmful to the environment or depleting natural resources, and thereby supporting long-term ecological balance.

Do you ask yourself these questions prior to making a decision about what dive center to dive or train with?

A few years ago I realized quite how much damage some Tourism practices could be for the environment.  I watched on the dock as a sailing adventure company loaded boxes and boxes of drinking water of small plastic bottles on to their boat. 47 boxes of water, each with 24 bottles containing less than 500 ml in each. Providing the guests drank all the water that would be 1128 single use plastic bottles between only 6 people, in less than a week. That is a huge amount of plastic waste.

I decided to start investigating how I could make our dive center more environmentally friendly by adopting sustainable practices. As divers we should not just be ambassadors for the Oceans, but for the planet.

We strive to ensure that our business practices and services are environmentally sustainable and that we safeguard the ocean environment for generations to come. These decisions are not taken lightly: they involve commitment, time, and funding. Our team has invested in finding and following standards and protocols that have propelled us forward as a sustainable leader in the dive industry. The most important decision is knowing how and what information to choose and decipher prior to embarking on becoming more sustainable. It is not simply a question of “googling it”.

We have partnered with Ocean First Institute and Sustainable Travel International to keep us moving in the right direction.  Through these organizations, we have joined the “Blue the Dive” movement.  Cortez Expeditions complies with the requirements set forth by this movement, striving to maintain them while simultaneously adapting our company to incorporate further eco-friendly practices on a daily basis.

The heart of our business plan is sustainable tourism – we realize that by being stewards of the natural environment we are not only protecting our livelihoods but allowing future generations to enjoy the same natural wonders we are privileged to experience in the Sea of Cortez.  We welcome any questions and discussion about our standards because we know that only through collaboration can we effectively protect the Ocean for those who come after us.

  • We guarantee the following environmental practices at Cortez Expeditions:
  • Our facilities and boats are 100% free of disposable plastic bottles and aluminum cans.
  • We use refillable jugs for water and tea and encourage guests to either use our reusable aluminum bottles or come with their personal reusable bottles.
  • Our food is organic, sustainable, and locally sourced.  Not only is our food tasty, it is ethically sourced, transported, and treated. www.smartfish.mx
  • Our staff maintains the best environmental practices above and below the water. Our dive briefings provide guests with necessary information for better understanding of the dive sites and how to minimize our impacts on the site.

In addition, our staff practice diving protocols that help guests improve their techniques in the water, enabling guests to get the most out of every dive while cultivating a respect for the marine environment.

Find out more about Luke and Cortez Expeditions at www.cortezexpeditions.com.

This article was originally published by Scubaverse