Although Curacao’s reefs are beautiful, healthy and full of life, they need help to stay that way.
The Dive Bus Sustainability Policy* is a BUNCH of simple, fun ways to make a difference – together.
* the Policy formerly known as the Eco Policy
Although we don’t take life too seriously, too often at The Dive Bus, diver safety and sustainability are exceptions.
It’s not news that coral reefs – and the massive, vital eco-system of which they’re the backbone – are in rapid decline.
The good news is that divers get to see coral reef damage and decline, first-hand, making us uniquely motivated and able, to do something about it.
With so many ways and opportunities for divers to make a positive difference to our oceans, we expanded our original Dive Bus Eco Policy into this Dive Bus Sustainability Policy. Its purpose is:
to share a ton of simple ways to minimize our negative impact on our oceans
to make it rewarding, fun and easy for you to make that happen – even when you’re not diving or vacationing in Curacao, too
through the above, maximise our positive impact on our oceans
Check it out:
How to reduce your environmental impact with a PADI Green Star Dive Center
No matter how near or far you live from the ocean, chances are that your trash goes there more often than you do. And it gets there much more quickly and frequently when you’re vacationing on a Caribbean island, with constant trade winds.
Imagine how many of these items you might use and discard on a typical vacation day:
In 2016, we earned the PADI Green Star™ Dive Center Award for “demonstrating dedication to the environment and conservation – sustainable tourism – across a range of business functions.”
Curacao’s first Green Star Dive Center, we do this by incorporating the 3 Rs (“Reduce, Re-use, Recycle”) into everyday life at The Dive Bus, along with other Green Star criteria including:
efficient water and energy use
conservation actions such as regular beach and dive site clean ups
making it easy for our divers to do the same
Like many islands, Curacao’s trash is stored in landfill – but due to the constant trade winds, much of it ends up in the ocean. To minimise your “trash impact”:
look out for and use Green Force recycle bins like ours, when you’re out and about around the island
there are no battery recycling facilities in Curacao, so instead of throwing your dead ones in the trash, prevent battery chemicals leaking into the ocean by:
taking dead batteries home with you for proper disposal
leaving them in the ‘dead batteries box’ at The Dive Bus for others to take home and dispose of for you
switching to rechargeable ones, to reduce waste and save you money
check out these Packing Pointers to reduce your trash impact before you even arrive in Curacao – and save valuable luggage space and weight for your new dive gear, fun Dive Bus stuff, gigantic cheese wheels and Blue Curacao purchases… 😉
How to fund ocean protection with your next PADI dive course
Curacao’s first 100% AWARE Dive Center, The Dive Bus makes a donation to ProjectAWARE for every PADI dive course certification issued by the almost world famous Dive Bus Crew.
You receive a special Project AWARE version of your PADI certification card, and information about Project AWARE’s areas of focus and concerns, so you can make a bigger difference by further supporting them and their actions, if you like.
How to enjoy Curacao’s reefs without damaging them
If you don’t know that something you’re doing can have a negative impact on the very thing you’re diving to see and enjoy – how can you do anything about it?
The Rules of the Reef poster in The Dive Bus briefing area and on the Dive Buses, should help. Please take particular note of #5: it’s forbidden to remove anything from the ocean, except trash. (Even that must be removed carefully, to avoid doing more harm than good).
If you’re not one of the millions following Project AWARE’s 10 Tips for Divers to Protect the Ocean Planet, you might want to take a minute to check them out. This ethic or code is followed by millions of scuba divers to dive by, and anyone and everyone to live by. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how easy the Tips are to follow – and how many you’re probably already following.
And of course, there’s a bunch of fun PADI dive courses to improve your knowledge, awareness and dive skills, so you get more from every dive and reduce any negative impact.
How to get awesome photos of Curacao’s reefs without damaging them
Everyone has – or will – dive with that guy.
The one with the gigantic camera rig, crawling all over the corals and pushing you out of the way so they can get the perfect shot?
Don’t be that guy. No shot is worth damaging the reef for – or ruining everyone else’s dive. This giant poster in our dive briefing area and on the Dive Buses is a reminder how to get awesome photos and video – without being that guy.
And if you (or your dive buddy) might be that guy? We can fix that in half a day. We’ll correct your weighting and dive positioning, making your diving effortless and improving your air consumption. With these news skills, you’ll become a more comfortable and confident diver, able to notice and enjoy more on every dive – and much less likely to damage fragile marine life and / or annoy fellow divers in the process.
How to make an instant difference
Take part in a Clean Up Dive:
Curacao’s first dive center to Adopt a Dive Site through the Project AWARE initiative, we run free Dive Bus Clean Up dives every month. With other Curacao Dive Task Force dive centers joining the initiative, there are FREE Clean Up dives around Curacao – every weekend.
Data about the trash collected on each Clean Up dive is submitted online to Project AWARE. They use this vital, real-time marine debris data to identify, monitor and tackle underwater trash issues, worldwide.
You’re very welcome to join in. Your non-diving friends and family are welcome too, removing trash from the beaches to prevent it reaching the ocean in the first place. It’s a great, rewarding way to make a difference – and a lot of fun:
There’s not usually much underwater trash that we can recycle, but there is some we can re-use …:
How to ensure your trash doesn’t reach Curacao’s reefs in the first place
Hands-down the most popular Specialty course at The Dive Bus, you’ll come away from the fast-paced, highly practical Project AWARE Dive Against Debris course bursting to implement ideas for preventing trash reaching the reef in the first place.
And, as with any dive course you take with The Dive Crew, you’ll receive a special 100% AWARE version of your certification card.
How to learn about doing all of the above
There’s so much we can do to make a difference, it’s pretty overwhelming.
So we took one of our most popular dive courses – PADI Advanced Open Water Diver – and worked with Project AWARE and PADI to build a special version of it it.
The Dive Bus PADI AWARE Advanced Open Water Diver course includes:
the 2 required training dives for the regular PADI AOW course (Deep, Navigation)
the remaining 3 training dives which will teach you important dive skills and useful tips and tricks, as well as more about these simple ways to make a difference
your Dive Against Debris Specialty certification dive (so you can earn 2 dive certifications at the same time, if you like)