Seasoned Pros: Tips for New Instructors

kara and nate scuba diving PADI Divers

By Tara Bradley Connell

Sharing a love of diving with a new diver is one of the most rewarding experiences for a PADI Pro. And with knowledge and time, the lessons learned along the way are priceless. Here are some tips from PADI’s seasoned pros on how to create a successful and enjoyable career in diving.

Read Your Students

When Conrad Rucker, a PADI course director at Dive Georgia, learned to dive, it was with a steel 72, single-hose regulator, and a backpack. Since then, the gear requirements have gotten an upgrade, and he’s trained over 1,500 divers. For Rucker, focusing on the students and their different skill levels is his strongest piece of advice.

“Always put the students’ safety first,” he says. “Look out for the ‘weakest link’ of the group. Have fun. If you’re not enjoying it, your students probably aren’t, either.”

conrad rucker

It’s Never Too Late

Louise Kiyani, a PADI MSDT at Diveworld, located in Yorkshire, England, didn’t try diving until she was 38. In fact, she was terrified of open water areas. Thanks to her patient instructor, she found her footing.

“My very first dive was mind-blowing! All my fears vanished in an instant, and I was hooked – the poor guy couldn’t get rid of me for days after that,” she laughs.

Today, she has a dive center and has trained over 1,000 divers. For Kiyani, it’s all about taking your time.

“I overcame fear and pushed myself and have never been more surprised at my own ability and I’ve never looked back,” she said. “My advice would be don’t hesitate and choose carefully.  Teach what you love to do, stay focused and give your best. I firmly believe the rewards will come back at you tenfold.”

louise kiyani

Don’t Give Up

Made Partayasa has been diving since 1998, but it wasn’t until March 2019 that he took the next step and became a course director at Blue Corner Dive Lembongan in Bali. Today, he has trained almost 800 divers.

Partayasa says that it was the perseverance he learned from his family at Blue Corner Dive that helped him pass his Instructor Exam – even after he initially failed the physics and equipment segments.

“Cody saw ‘failure’ as a normal step, and worked tirelessly to help me succeed,” he says. “I never wanted to be an instructor because I was too afraid of my English and theory. Cody used to stay from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. to help me learn it all. I could not have done it without the support and guidance from Cody, Andrew, and the Blue Corner Dive family.  I can now pass on that same support, patience, and understanding to every candidate I have.” 

Made Partayasa

Build Your Logbook

In 1990, Simon Hotchkin tried diving on a fluke while on holiday. Today, he is a PADI Master Instructor and owns Stellare Divers, in Lincolnshire, England. For Hotchkin, and his 900-some student certifications, it’s about gaining exposure to a variety of different dive conditions.

“Get loads of diving experience in as many different places and environments as possible,” he says. “Once you have a ton of experience and are a rounded diver, then become a PADI Pro, give something back, help others see the amazing things that you have, and share your passion.”

Simon Hotchkin

Passion = Success

PADI course director Anna Schmitz always thought she’d end up teaching or working in the medical field, but the second she tried diving that all went out the window.

“I put a regulator in my mouth — and everything changed! Buy hey! I am a teacher, and I love dive medicine!”

Through her diving career, she’s trained 1,464 professionals and owns Emerald Coast Scuba. In addition to their regular diving curriculum, her team focuses on their Wounded Warrior and SEAL team programs. For Schmitz, the most important thing to remember when building a successful career in diving is to enjoy it.

Anna Schmitz

“Teach what you love — and the joy (and money) will follow!”

Dieter Steinbrich, a PADI MSDT and operation manager for Dune Atlantis Bali, based in Sanur,  agrees.

“Follow your dream and learn as much as you can,” he says.

Dieter Steinbrich

Dream Big

Restunning Sandini is not only the IDC Manager of Two Fish Divers Indonesia, but she was also the first female Indonesian PADI course director.

“Everyone has their own issues, and as Indonesian or Eastern-cultured women, we are sometimes seen as selfish if we strive to reach our dreams. The truth is, every dream needs sacrificing,” she says. “To be honest, there were times that I thought I would not be able to reach it. But again, if your dreams are not giving you bruises, then they are not big enough, right?”

Restuning Sandini

Check out these 6 Secrets Behind Dive Center Hiring when looking for a career in scuba.

PADI Foundation Awards $330,000 US to Grant Recipients

The PADI Foundation awarded more than $330,000 US in grants in 2019 to encourage and support research and education related to marine environments. Every year, the PADI Foundation funds worthwhile projects that improve understanding of: aquatic environments and encourage protection of ecosystems; people’s relationship and ability to survive in the underwater environment to benefit the scientific community and general diving public; hazards to humans and ecosystems related to climate change in coastal and ocean environments to advance response measures.

Since 1992, the PADI Foundation has awarded nearly $4.7 million US to almost 900 projects. A 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, the PADI Foundation is a separate and distinct organization, corporately unrelated to PADI® and its affiliates, but was established and is funded by PADI.

In 2019, out of more than 400 grant applications 64 projects were selected to receive a total of $332,568 US in grant money. Projects in 20 countries around the globe were funded, including:

  • Exploring unique Omani kelp forests to transform global underwater forest conservation
  • Coral monitoring and restoration in Utila, Honduras
  • Spatial ecology from above: Incorporating drones in identifying populations and habitats of dugongs and sea turtles in Johor, Malaysia
  • PADI Foundation Leaders Initiative Scholarship: Developing diverse marine science leaders through education and mentorship
  • Implication to water quality in the context of climate change: Nutrients and potential mobility of phosphorus in mangrove sediments with different land use pattern in southern Vietnam
  • Assessing the conservation status and developing awareness of sharks and rays in the northern coastline of Cameroon
  • Partnering with the offshore sailing community to monitor marine microplastic pollution
  • Mapping and modeling of the Seattle Fault tsunami inundation in Puget Sound
  • Implementing disease intervention strategies on corals in the southeast Florida reef tract and assessing their potential impact on mucus microbial communities
  • Zooplankton plastivory: First approach on microplastics in Antarctic coastal environments

“The recipients of the PADI Foundation grants reinforce my hope for the future and share in our mission to be a force for good,” says Drew Richardson, President and CEO of PADI Worldwide. “These individuals are combining their unique talents and passion to identify issues, provide understanding and solutions to mitigate the problems that threaten our ocean planet, and further enable and encourage underwater exploration. The PADI organization is honored to support them in their efforts, both at the local level and on a global scale.”

Each year, the PADI Foundation Board of Directors and advisory council of subject matter experts consider proposals with budgets up to $20,000 US, although the average award ranges from $5,000 to $10,000 US. Applications for consideration in 2020 may be submitted beginning 1 November 2019, and no later than 10 January 2020. Learn more at www.padifoundation.org.

Make a Life

scuba diving drew richardson make a life

How did you get into diving? Or more specifically, who got you into diving? You’re a diver either because someone took you by the hand and led you to an instructor, or you found an instructor who nurtured your interest. Maybe it was a bit of both or someone else helped you along, but no matter how you slice it, we’re all divers because someone shared diving with us. They opened the door, encouraged us and made us feel welcome. Even if we were already interested thanks to the internet, television, cinema or whatever, to some to extent (usually to a large one) diving was (and is) a gift.

padi divers

IMO, it’s a gift we should share. American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow said, “Give what you have. To someone, it may be better than you dare to think.” I added the emphasis because this absolutely describes diving. As I’ve said here before, diving reshapes lives, alters perspectives and changes attitudes. Thanks to this, some of us become teachers who help shape a rising generation that will preserve the seas. Others of us combat climate change and restore coral damage. Through diving we experience healing, and last year, the world watched divers spearhead a massive effort to save 12 boys and their coach from a flooded cave in Thailand. Longfellow was right; when we give diving by inviting others into our ranks, we are often giving far more than we imagine.

And, unlike many things today, diving is uncontroversial. People are hungry for enlightening experiences, new friendships and ways to contribute meaningfully. Diving is a gift because it’s not just an invitation into a wonderous world that feeds this hunger, but because it’s inclusive, not divisive. We become divers without swinging our political outlook, joining a cult or endorsing a new world order. It brings us together regardless of differences, which makes sharing diving so easy I’m astounded when divers don’t do it. But, as Lemony Snicket says in the children’s book Shouldn’t You Be In School?, “Hungry people should be fed. It takes some people a long time to figure this out.”

learning to scuba dive

We don’t need to figure this out; we just need to make the effort to do it. When we wax eloquent about our dives at the water cooler, post underwater images on social media, update others on the latest AWARE event, etc., all we have to do is put it out there: “You’ll love it – come meet my instructor.” “Check out this link. Awesome underwater shots.” “How ’bout lunch? We can drop by my dive shop after.” If you’re already an instructor, it’s even easier: “What are you doing (whenever)? You can try it (or get started).” You get the idea.

English stateman Winston Churchill famously said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” Or lives. Make a point of giving diving to others.

Dr. Drew Richardson
PADI President & CEO

Understanding Oxygen Toxicity

Written by DAN Staff

It’s rare to be on a dive boat without seeing someone diving enriched air nitrox, and considering the popularity of the PADI Enriched Air Diver course, this is not too surprising. Enriched air offers longer bottom times and shorter surface intervals, but it also comes with additional considerations and potential hazards, such as oxygen toxicity.

Oxygen toxicity can easily be  avoided by recreational divers, but should it occur underwater, it can be deadly. Every enriched air diver needs to understands the basics of oxygen toxicity and know how to avoid it. Here are a few reminders and suggestions for reducing risk.

What is Oxygen Toxicity?

Breathing oxygen at increased partial pressure for prolonged periods can have harmful effects on the body. There are two types of oxygen toxicity that divers should know about.

The first is pulmonary oxygen toxicity. It’s of less concern to divers because it results from prolonged breathing of high concentrations of oxygen, such as  while undergoing hyperbaric chamber therapy or breathing 100 percent oxygen during an extended evacuation. Pulmonary oxygen toxicity involves time periods that exceed the length of a dive, so it will typically be encountered on land following hours or days of oxygen administration.

It often begins with airway inflammation, which then spreads to the lungs. There, alveolar damage and/or collapse and decline in lung function may occur. Damage caused by this type of oxygen toxicity is entirely reversible.

The type of oxygen toxicity that is of serious concern to divers is central nervous system (CNS) oxygen toxicity. CNS oxygen toxicity can occur with very short exposures to significantly elevated partial pressures of oxygen and can affect any diver who exceeds or improperly calculates the maximum depth of their gas mix. This type of toxicity affects the tissues of the brain and spinal cord, and it can arise suddenly, causing vital tissue damage or seizures. Less serious symptoms of oxygen toxicity (lip or eye twitching, confusion and anxiety, among others) are unreliable indicators; in many instances convulsions present with no precursors.

If a diver begins convulsing underwater, drowning is possible if the diver loses the ability to keep a regulator in the mouth. Getting the diver to the surface is the best course of action if a seizure occurs.

Reduce the Risk

While even divers breathing air are at risk for oxygen toxicity if they exceed recreational limits, it’s mostly a concern for divers breathing enriched air or using rebreathers. Divers need to be certified as enriched air or rebreather divers if they want to breathe a gas mixture with more than 21 percent oxygen. Even with proper training and certification, it doesn’t hurt to monitor the gas analysis and oxygen exposure calculations of the divers you’re supervising. Being ready to refresh procedures or answer questions about gas mix testing and dive planning is in everyone’s best interest.

As the gas blender and cylinder provider, you want to be sure that your fill station is properly maintained, staff who fill cylinders have proper credentials, and that you follow all fill station documentation and logging procedures. Doing this is your responsibility as a dive professional or business owner, but it will also shows your customers that you care about their well-being and enjoyment.

For information about diving maladies, visit DAN.org

Reserve Your Room Now for the 2019 DEMA Show

Already know you’re headed to Orlando, Florida, USA this year for the 2019 DEMA Show from 13-16 November?

Be one of the first to book your room at the Rosen Plaza Hotel located near the West Hall of the Orange County Convention Center. Contact PADI Travel to secure the special room rate of  $192 US (+ tax and resort fee).

PADI® programs, such as the Course Director Update, Emergency First Response® Instructor Trainer course, PADI Business Academy and the PADI Social will take place in the Rosen Plaza Hotel, so you’ll be staying in the center of the action.

Email PADI Travel, or call 866 646 2187 to reserve your room today.

Insurance Renewal Coming Soon

My painful insurance lesson.

I worked for a dive operation that catered to high-end customers. We were a team of four – two instructors and two divemasters. On one particular trip, the thing we all dread occurred – one of the divers was severely injured. Jack was participating in a specialty training dive with me as the instructor and Jane (also an instructor) was serving as a certified assistant. Divemaster Bob was with our group and Divemaster Brad was aboard the boat helping divers enter and exit the water.

As Jack was boarding the boat following the dive, the fingers of his dominant hand ended up between the ladder and the boat, resulting in one amputation and de-gloving of three other fingers. We were able to provide immediate first aid and Jack was transported to the nearest medical facility for treatment.

Jack was hospitalized for a couple weeks as he contracted a severe infection while in the hospital. In addition, there were months of physical therapy and it was unknown whether Jack, the father of three, would be able to return to the operating room where he was chief of neurosurgery at a large hospital.

Obviously, worry set in. While our team did everything we could, and our actions did not contribute to the severe infection, we were concerned. We talked openly with our insurance and risk management team and prepared for the worst.

Jack’s annual income was more than $500,000 US. And, he was the sole breadwinner for his family. Estimates were that if a suit were to be filed, the damages (loss of income, medical expenses, pain and suffering, permanent disfigurement, etc.,) would be well in excess of $1,000,000 US. However, with potentially at least four of us listed as defendants (not considering the boat, boat owner, tour booking company, etc.), we expected our collective insurance policies would place $4,000,000 US on the table. Being responsible, prudent dive pros, we had each purchased our own insurance coverage, paying the full premium, with a Certificate of Insurance and Declarations Page saying we each had $1,000,000 US in coverage. . . until you read the fine print.

We were told (and shown in black and white) that the policy language stated, regardless of the number of insureds (four of us), the most the policy would pay was $1,000,000 US for any one incident. WHAT?!?!?

So, what did we pay for? We were not insured under a group policy, but each submitted our application and our premium to the insurance team with the expectation that we would each have $1,000,000 in coverage.

As it turned out, Jack did not file a lawsuit. He acknowledged that he had some contribution to the incident, but he did suffer terribly and it was nearly a year before he was able to fully work again. During this time we also suffered – the emotional stress of not knowing if and when the axe will drop.

Lesson Learned

Read the fine print. If you don’t understand something – ask. Ask for a comparison of the insurance policies you are considering. Do your homework. Don’t just blindly buy the cheapest or the newest insurance offering.

Note: In the above scenario, the PADI-endorsed program would provide $1,000,000 US in coverage for each dive pro, plus unlimited defense costs.*

*Subject to policy terms and conditions.

Coming Soon – Insurance Renewal

PADI® Dive Centers and Resorts deserve the industry’s highest rated and most affordable insurance available in the industry. Unfortunately, many business owners don’t take the time to really understand their policies – regardless of the provider. Those who don’t fully consider their business needs can make the wrong choices and end up with sub-par coverage offered by other industry carriers. Take a moment to stay informed and avoid costly mistakes. You’ll thank yourself later!

Here’s a scenario that shows what can happen when a dive center owner did not take advantage of PADI-endorsed Dive Center and Resort Insurance:

“I have been a dive center owner for six years, and like many dive operations I have never had a claim and never paid much attention to the coverage details of my property policy. Unfortunately one morning our compressor malfunctioned and started a small fire. This fire destroyed $50,000 US worth of my property. Due to the coinsurance provision (a detail I did not pay attention to), our claim payment was significantly less than the amount of the property I lost. Over the last six years my business has grown, but during the renewal periods I always told my broker to use the same coverage limit for our Business Personal Property. I had more rental equipment and a larger inventory of retail equipment. I had a coverage limit of $100,000 US, but the replacement cost of all my property was actually $200,000 US. I originally thought I was fully covered (less my $1,000 deductible) because the loss was only $50,000 US and I had a $100,000 US coverage limit. However, I quickly learned about the 80 percent coinsurance requirement and that it meant I was required to have a coverage limit of at least 80 percent ($160,000 US) of my total Business Personal Property replacement cost value. I was only insuring to 50 percent ($100,000 US) of my total property replacement cost value. Because of the coinsurance penalty being assessed, I only received a $30,500 US claim payment instead of the $49,000 US claim payment I expected. Not paying attention to, and not understanding, coinsurance cost me $18,500 US. I will make sure to purchase a property policy without a coinsurance requirement from now on.”

Stay protected and profitable by choosing PADI-endorsed Dive Center and Resort Insurance, which doesn’t have a coinsurance clause. The 2019-2020 policy details and applications will be sent to each PADI Retail and Resort Association Member prior to the renewal deadline of 30 June 2019.

What Does It Mean to Be “The Best” Dive Shop?

According to Google, Mobile searches for “best” have grown over 80% over the past two years. More importantly, there’s been an increase in searches for “the best” product to fit a specific need. For example:

“best face lotion for dry skin,”
“best shoes for standing all day”
“best champagne for mimosas”

What does this mean for you as a dive retailer?
The theory that there can only be one winner is no longer true. Your business might be:

  • the best dive center for kids
  • the best dive boat in Maui
  • the best padi divemaster internship in [location]

Consider where your business excels, or where it would like to grow, and start writing about why you’re “the best dive shop for  ______” on your website and social media. You might ask customers to give a shout out to “the best dive guide in [your location]” when posting an online review and tie it to a reward for staff members who receive the most mentions every month or quarter.

What are consumers’ intentions?
So what are people looking for when they search for “the best”? According to Google, they want to “get the most for my money” and avoid buyer’s regret. Google also noted:

Consumers told us searching “best” helps save time by returning a curated list of fewer options …rankings, ratings, or reviews from consumers and experts. You can see the difference between search for results for gas grill and for best gas grill.

This is another clue for dive centers hoping to gain more customers. On your website and social media, address the concerns of people who may be wary of spending hundreds of dollars on scuba lessons.

  • Invite them to try Discover Scuba® Diving first and apply the cost to the PADI® Open Water Diver course if they like the experience.
  • Include testimonials on your website (or link to Facebook reviews) to reassure visitors they will have fun and learn from safe, professional instructors.
  • Coach staff how to identify a potential customer’s needs or goals and reply with a specific solution (as opposed to giving a canned answer).

Are you the best?
Use Google’s incognito mode and search for “best dive shop near me,” or other best of search. If you don’t show up on the first page of search results, add copy to your website (just a few mentions, don’t go crazy) about “why we’re the best dive shop in [location]” or “why we’re the best dive boat for underwater photographers,” etc.

Tips for Writing a Corporate EFR Proposal

A corporate client can generate thousands of dollars in income over the long term. In addition to creating a new revenue stream, you’ll increase awareness about your business and generate referrals. According to the Washington Post, small businesses experience an average revenue increase of more than 260 percent after adding their first corporate client.

In this article, we’ll review some important do’s and don’ts when pitching a large company. We’ll also share some time-saving tips and templates to make creating a corporate proposal as easy as possible.

Start with a list of 4-6 target companies – Conduct online research to identify the largest employers in your area, then narrow your list to companies in close proximity to your store.

Also include businesses where you have a personal connection. LinkedIn can be a great way to identify corporate contacts. Here are a few ways to find people you know on LinkedIn.

EFR

A “warm” lead is better than a cold call. If you know someone who works at a large company, ask them the best person to contact. Most corporate pitches go to the Human Resources department, but you’re just as likely to succeed by reaching out to a department manager or supervisor.

Do some online research – Google the companies on your shortlist. Read recent press releases and news stories for potential “ins.” Consider what the company’s goals might be, future concerns, and how your training offers a solution. Here are a few reasons a business may need to hire a CPR and first aid instructor:

-Changes to local or federal regulations
-A significant number of new hires
-Opening a new location
-As part of a Corporate Emergency Response Plan

Gather testimonials – Let customers do the selling for you. If you don’t already have testimonials, contact past customers and ask for a quote. If you don’t have a lot of EFR experience, ask your dive students to write something about you or your instructors’ teaching ability. Include one or two testimonials in your letter, and add as many as possible to your website.

Use our proposal templates – Download a sample proposal letter (Word Doc) from the EFR Pros Site or preview it here as a PDF. You might also enclose this flyer summarizing the benefits of the first aid and CPR training (PDF) you offer, or 7 Steps to Setting up a Comprehensive AED Program (PDF).

Answer the question, “Why Choose Us” – In the letter, mention at least one thing that’s special about your business. Corporations may be looking to support minority, veteran or female-owned businesses. Maybe you’re a graduate of the local university, or you support a local non-profit. Include something in your letter to differentiate your business from “average” CPR and first aid course providers.

Customize each proposal letter – Writing the same letter to each company is a huge DON’T. Tailor each letter to a specific company’s needs based on your online research. Focus on problems and solutions, anticipate and overcome objections

  • Position Emergency First Response© as a solution to potential problems. For example:Keeping track of government regulations is a challenge. At Emergency First Response, we specialize in providing CPR, AED and first aid training to meet workplace requirements for companies just like yours.
  • Anticipate potential objections such lost productivity:Emergency First Response training is designed to minimize the amount of time in the classroom and away from the job. Student materials are designed with an independent-study component which develops foundation information and allows the instructor to focus time on skill practice rather than lecture time. This reduces classroom time while increasing skill retention. This model is proven to inspire student confidence provide care when a medical emergency arises.
  • …or a lack of familiarity with EFR:Emergency First Response courses include state-of-the-art educational material designed to provide scheduling flexibility. Our first aid, CPR and AED courses meet or exceed standards set by ILCOR, OSHA, and the US Coast Guard to name a few. I’d be happy to send you a sample of our student materials for you to review.

Less is more – Assume the potential customer won’t read your letter in its entirety. Make sure your key points stand out by:

  • Adding bullet points
  • Putting important words or sentences in bold
  • Using sub-headers to break up long paragraphs

Ask someone proof your letter or email before sending – After rewriting a document multiple times it can be easy to leave out a key detail like your contact info, or overlook small typos.

Be persistent (but not annoying)
Big companies move slowly. Landing a contract can be a year-long project, especially if the company hasn’t allocated funds for CPR training in this year’s budget.

After a week or two, call or send a follow-up postcard. If, after two or three follow-ups you haven’t received a response, try something memorable. Send a workplace safety-related tchotchke such as an EFR barrier keychain (product no. 80079), or phone to let them know about a “limited time offer.”

efr corporate proposal

Submitting a Request for Proposal (RFP)
Large companies and government agencies may put their CPR and first aid training needs up for bid. If this happens, they will direct you to a request for proposal (RFP), which is basically a proposal template. Review this information from the EFR Pros Site regarding developing a winning bid for RFPs.

Questions? We’re here to help
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, just start with step one. Make a list of companies in your area, and find out where you already have a contact. The EFR marketing toolbox has numerous customizable postcard and flyer options including refresher training reminders and other collateral, and don’t forget your PADI regional team is here to help.

6 Top Tips to Help Dive Operators Reduce Marine Litter

It’s no secret that plastic pollution and marine debris is a huge problem threatening the health of our oceans. That’s why PADI is involved in an industry-wide initiative called Mission 2020, which aims to inspire dive-related businesses and charities to commit to reducing their plastic use.

PADI has pledged to lessen its dependency on packaging to minimise the plastic footprint of hundreds of thousands of divers each year. But what can you do as a dive operator to reduce plastic pollution and marine litter?

Here are a few top tips from the team at The Reef-World Foundation (international co-ordinators of Green Fins) to help you play your part in preserving the oceans you enjoy diving in and for future generations:

1. Organise Underwater Clean-ups
Marine litter is a huge problem but dive operators can lessen its impact not only by refusing single-use items, reducing waste and recycling but also by conducting Dive Against Debris® surveys or even organising underwater clean-up events.

It’s important to avoid damaging the environment in the process of removing any marine debris so make sure your divers maintain good buoyancy, watch their fins, make sure they don’t have any gauges trailing that might touch or damage the reef and don’t touch anything that isn’t trash. Have them work slowly and carefully as a buddy team with one person holding the trash bag and the other wearing gloves and collecting the trash. Divers will need to adjust their buoyancy throughout the dive – remember, as they pick up more rubbish, they are going to get heavier! It’s also a good idea to record data about the trash you collect (Project AWARE’s Dive Against Debris App). You can find a handy guide to organising underwater clean-ups here.

2. Ditch the Masking Tape
Using masking tape to indicate a full tank is a common practice in many dive schools. But have you ever thought about what happens to that tape once it’s been torn off the tank neck? Tape can easily become marine debris by blowing into the ocean. Why not make permanent, reusable caps for your scuba tanks? It’s really simple – all you need is some plastic hosing and good quality rope.

3. Think About Lunches
We all know diving makes you hungry – and there’s nothing like providing some tasty snacks for your guest’s surface interval. But have you ever considered how your quick bite might affect the ocean? Plastic-wrapped sweeties and refreshments served in disposable containers all add to the plastic problem. But it needn’t be that way – clients will appreciate your efforts to preserve the marine environment by serving fresh fruit, coconut pieces and snacks in reusable lunch boxes!

4. Bin It!
As well as reducing your waste, it’s important to make sure any trash that’s created during diving trips is disposed of responsibly. Make sure your dive shops and boats have adequate ashtrays and appropriately sized bins (with lids – the bin is no use if the trash is still swept into the ocean by the wind!) and, wherever possible, separate and recycle your rubbish.

5. Adopt the Green Fins Code of Conduct or Become a Member
Green Fins is a global initiative, coordinated internationally by The Reef-World Foundation in partnership with the UN Environment, which protects coral reefs by ensuring environmentally friendly diving and snorkelling practices.

Dive and snorkel centres operating in active Green Fins locations can apply for membership by signing the membership form and pledging to follow the 15 environmental practices of the Green Fins Code of Conduct. Active members will then be trained, assessed and certified annually and provided with all the resources they need to reduce their environmental impact. If Green Fins is not available in your area, adopt the Code of Conduct voluntarily.

Individual dive guides can also become Green Fins certified by completing the Green Fins Dive Guide e-Course – whether or not their dive shop is a member.

Divers themselves can choose to book with Green Fins members as well as donating to support the development and implementation of Green Fins’ work to make coral reefs more resilient when faced with greater threats such as climate change.

Mission 2020 Logo

6. Make a Mission 2020 Pledge
Changing your business practices to reduce plastics is not just good for the ocean; divers care about the ocean and look for businesses who are making strides to protect marine life. So, better environmental practices will lead to increased customer loyalty, higher rates of return customers and great online reviews (which, in turn, attract more business). If you run a diver operator and are inspired to help improve the health of our oceans by reducing your plastic consumption, make a pledge to support Mission 2020.

 

Guest Post Written By: Melissa Hobson, The Reef-World Foundation