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Have you booked your dream holiday on the other side of the planet and feel a little bit environmentally guilty about it? Here are a few ways for you to take care of your carbon footprint during your holidays, and then try to take those good habits home with you! BEFORE LEAVING, SAVE ENERGYTurn off all the electrical appliances and devices that you won’t use while you're gone. Unplug everything you can and try to keep running appliances at a minimum. If you are leaving for an extended period of time, take this opportunity to clean out your fridge and freezer to dispose of the unwanted items. If you are really motivated, you can even empty it entirely and leave it off while you're gone. Donate the items to a friend in need or a community center for those less fortunate than you. Waste not, want not. CARPOOLIf you cannot avoid driving, try and fill all the spaces in your car that you can. All over the world you can find apps, facebook pages and websites that connect people traveling in the same directions for ride shares. This reduces your carbon emissions and can even save you a little money on gas with friends to share the bill! PRINT AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLEDon’t bother printing your booking tickets. You probably wont need them and find them transformed into a sweaty lump in your money belt weeks later. Nowadays just showing your passport or ID card is enough for the hostess to find you in the database at the airline check-in counter. You can also show the QR code from the company on your mobile.Take photos on your phone or save a copy of your important documents on your cloud so you can access it at anytime if needed. DON’T WRAP YOUR LUGGAGE IN PLASTICUse protective luggage covers or just a secured clip instead of the wasteful shrink wrap machine. There are many options for keeping your luggage clean and firmly shut. USE An ECO FRIENDLY SUNSCREENDid you know that conventional sunscreen contains a chemical that destroys coral reefs and marine ecosystems? Its name is oxybenzone, and many sunscreens contain it. According to experts, approximately 14,000 tons of sunscreen end up in the oceans every year.Search online or at your local dive center for reef safe options. They are now becoming increasingly affordable and easy to find. Go Shopping with your OWN REUSABLE BAGPurchase a reusable cloth bag to carry with you on any shopping spree. They come in many different sizes and some even fold up into tidy little pouches or keychains. This can allow you to say no to single use plastics from small shops that are likely to find there way into the ocean eventually. Remember turtles can hardly tell the difference between a plastic bag and a jellyfish! REFILL DONT BUY Carrying a reusable water bottle is an excellent idea whether you are going on a walk in your local park or departing on a faraway holiday. Avoiding buying single use plastic bottles is not only good for the budget but also good for the environment. I personally suggest a double layered insulated bottle which will keep that water icy cold even in the hottest climates.With increasing global awareness about going green, you can often find fill stations for water bottles all over the world. When in doubt, go to a dive center and ask the staff about filling stations. SAY NO TO STRAWSWhen you order your cocktail at the beach bar, don’t forget to say “no straw”. Single use plastic straws have been the target of successful global campaigns raising awareness of how they can impact our oceans. If you don't like to sip your drink from the edge of the cup consider a reusable option like metal or bamboo. You can even buy collapsible straws that are easily stored in a small case connected to a keychain. BRING YOUR CUPDo you need the comfort of caffeine in the morning? Do you hate drinking your sunset mojito from disposable plastic cups? Where many people will think to bring a reusable water bottle, most don't think to bring other reusable beverage receptacles. An insulated thermos for your morning coffee is a great way to reduce waste and keep the drink piping hot until you're ready for your fix. Beach bars are notorious for going through hundreds of plastic cups in a night. You can do your part by having your own party tumbler which will keep your drink cold and covered from sand or other undesirable additions.There's even an added bonus that some places will offer you a discount for bringing your own cup! …. AND YOUR CUP!Ladies, we all know that week when the bathroom’s trash bin is particularly full. Have you ever tried the cup?This revolutionary feminine hygiene product helps to reduce the rubbish you can produce during that special time of the month. You can wear it day or nights, for much longer than a tampon. It's also very comfortable and rarely leaks. Trying is adopting it! Even for diving, it is tested and approved. Environment protection blogpost
Wishing the Wetpixel community the happiest of happy holidays, all the new "must-have" gear as gifts and safe diving with wonderful photographic opportunities in 2015. Thanking you all for your input and support during this past year! Take care! Adam