Hike, bike, swim and snorkel, you can do it all in Mexico and so much more! Many tour companies market Mexico as an ‘affordable paradise’ to tourists and travellers and they’re right.
You could easily spend a week hanging out in the Caribbean without having to take out a bank loan to do it.
With that luxury comes a responsibility to do everything we can to be marine friendly travellers.
Whether you’re booked on my Mexico Special New Years Eve Trip or planning on travelling to another part of the world where you’ll be doing lots of exciting water-based activities, here’s how you can do your part and be a marine friendly traveller.
Because we love the fishies right! 🐠🐟🐡
Some of the major threats to the fragile ecosystem of the world’s tropical reef’s include:
- Marine tourism
- Coral bleaching (harmful chemicals leaching into the water bleach the reef)
- Cruise Ship tourism
Here’s what you can do:
1: Choose personal care products carefully
Shampoo, conditioner, body wash, sunscreen, moisturizers and deodorant—they all end up either going down the drain (and possibly straight into the ocean) or being washed off while swimming or snorkelling.
Hawaii recently banned the use of sunscreen that contain these two chemicals; oxybenzone and octinoxate, both of which are thought to have a detrimental effect on the coral and delicate eco-system of the reef.
The popular beauty and skincare brand Jason confirmed that their sunscreens are both octinoxate and oxybenzone free making them reef-friendly.
2: Ask yourself do I need to…
Use deodorant if I’m going on a full days snorkelling trip? Buy a rash vest so I can use less sunscreen when I’m in the water? Use shower gel or body wash if I’m in and out the ocean frequently? Use a moisturizer, makeup and other beauty or hair products if I’m going on a full-day snorkelling trip or intend on swimming in the ocean?
3: Bring reusable shopping bags and containers for food and drink
We’ve all seen the photos of plastics and trash floating around in the world’s oceans, this is a very simple and do-able step we can all take to be marine friendly travellers.
Bringing your own beach/re-usable shopping bag can help to reduce the many plastic bags that would have otherwise be used. The same thing applies to food containers, a mini container can be used to order food to take away from coffee shops, stores or restaurants.
4: Don’t touch ANYTHING!
Coral reefs are extremely diverse and important ecosystems, they provide protection and shelter for many species like fish, molluscs, and other invertebrates, they also protect the coast from strong currents and waves.
When you’re in the water, simply touching corals to see what they feel like can cause the death of an entire colony. Oils from your skin can disturb the delicate mucous membranes which protect the animals from disease.
Also, if you’re not a strong swimmer or in shallow water, try and use some kind of flotation device rather than risk standing on or kicking the coral as you swim which can kill the living coral polyps that are the builders of the reef structure.
5: Stay Curious and share what you learn
All life on Earth is connected to the ocean and its inhabitants. The more you learn about the issues facing this vital system, the more you’ll want to help ensure its health – National Geographic
I’ve been running trips and expeditions around the world for 15+ years and I learn something new every time I run a trip, it’s so important to sometimes suspend your thoughts and just be open and receptive to new ideas and concepts, especially if they help promote an environment where people and animals are no longer exploited.
If I was going to add a number six to this list, it would be to get organized. Dedicating even ten or fifteen minutes to trip planning will give you the time and space you need to see if there’s anything you need to buy or borrow before you hit the ocean.
I really hope this blog helps, I would love to see you on Trip info and Q&A live session Thursday, November the 04th, you can sign up for that here.