What does the Sea going Green do and why?
Sea Going Green is a consulting firm that promotes sustainable tourism through sustainable business. Our mission is to alleviate the negative impacts tourism has on marine environments by helping companies implement sustainable practices into their operations without hindering customer experience. As research shows, 73% of Millennial's and generation Z travelers are more likely to pay for sustainability and actually expect companies to take action to improve environmental factors. Tourism can cause harm, but doesn’t necessarily have to. It is in the tourism industry’s best interest to conserve the environment as a destination ultimately loses its profitability when it loses its beauty. Sea Going Green develops and implements Green Transition Strategies for tourism operators that want to #GoGreenForTheBigBlue. Within the Green Transition Strategy is an environmental impact assessment, sustainable marine tourism plan, and best practices report. We develop strategies for tourism operators to qualify for relevant green awards and certificates which is a way for their achievements to be recognized. We also provide training and capacity development to promote ecological awareness and the value of responsible marine tourism throughout the tourism companies. This helps to strengthen and maintain knowledge, skills and experience set to achieve more sustainable tourism. We encourage tourism operators to contribute to the local economies of the countries they visit and to incorporate local communities.
What is the current state of the oceans and marine life?
The current state of the oceans and marine life is difficult to gauge, it depends at what angle you are looking at. But the state of the marine environment is unfortunately degrading. 75% of the world's coral reefs are projected to die by 2050. From a marine ecosystem and tourism perspective that would be catastrophic. Coral reefs and the oceans provide habitats for marine wildlife including fishes which collectively provide the primary source of protein for more than 2.6 billion people and is a source of livelihood for fishermen globally.
The ocean is home to 80% of life on this planet. It plays a crucial role in
regulating our climate and absorbing carbon dioxide. Coral reefs are vital to the world's fisheries. They act as nurseries for young fish, produce medicinal compounds for cancer treatments, painkillers and other
medical applications, and protect islands by acting as a natural barrier against
storms. More than 90 national economies integrate reef-based activities, creating more
than 15% of GDP in nearly two dozen countries and ecosystem services provided
by coral reefs alone is estimated to be $30 billion annually.
How tourism impacts ocean health and marine life?
Unfortunately, tourists tend to leave behind more than just their sandy footprints at the beach. The plastic-made products such as straws, bags, bottles, nets...etc. that tourists bring to the beach can end up buried in the sand and carried off into the waves. These plastic items end up in the habitats of seabirds, fish and other mammals, gettings tangled up in their fins and ingested into their digestive tracts. The detrimental effects of this are obvious and can be deadly to the species. The fish that still manage to survive for plastic contamination sometimes end up on our plates and into our bodies so the entire food chain is impacted.
It isn’t just fish and other sea animals that are being harmed by tourist behavior, reefs all around the world are suffering bleaching from various environmental conditions such as ocean warming. What tourists don’t realize is that many sunscreens also contributes to bleaching, which is why it is important for ocean-loving travelers to choose a good reef-safe sunscreen.
Tourist behavior and our activities, how these should be changed?
As previously mentioned, changing from regular sunscreen to reef-safe or ocean-safe sunscreen can make a huge difference in preserving ocean health. The biggest impact can be made by a wave of Eco-conscious tourists deciding on making small consumer changes to buy more plastic-free and ocean-safe products.
Changing consumer behavior is no easy feat, but it is coming. Many countries and cities have voted on banning single-use plastics such as straws and many Millennials and Gen Z are rejecting outdated plastic products and opting for trendy reusable items from environmentally friendly materials.
How about plastic x tourism? How can we minimize the use of plastic while traveling? Can you offer some ideas?
We go by the principal of: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
The main way to reduce the use of plastic while traveling is to buy more reusable products like bees-wax sandwich bags, eco-friendly straws, glass water bottles...etc in the place of single-use plastics.
If you must use single-use plastics, then try to re-use them and re-purpose them into other useful items.
Otherwise, make sure to use the proper recycling bin when traveling so that it can be processed and properly recycled and if you see trash, pick it up and dispose of it so that it doesn’t end up in the water or come in contact with animals !
Why are there some beaches full of plastic? Is it because of the tourists and their irresponsible behavior?
The littering of cigarette butts and plastic bottles from beach goers certainly impact the cleanliness of any beach. However, the amount of plastic pollution on a beach oftentimes depends on a big handful of factors. Local industries, proximity to centres of population, tides, seasons, and the presence of municipal sanitation services can each individually determine how much plastic ends up on a beach. It is for these reasons that integrating a culture of sustainability and environmental stewardship does not stop at one or two local business, but instead must be integrated at the community level as well. Here at Sea Going Green, bringing together tourism operators and their local residents to promote marine conservation is a major priority- and a must have in our green transition strategies.
What are the practices you are teaching your clients and what their reaction is?
As a part of our “Green Transition Strategies”, Sea Going Green urges clients to switch to sustainable alternatives such as clean fuel alternatives such as wind energy and bio-fuels which many skippers and ocean enthusiasts are happy to transition to. Additionally, we measure the amounts of waste being produced by our clients and then we transition their onboard practices to use less plastic utensils, straws and furniture and encourage the use of innovative re-usable products.
We also distribute “Sustainable Tourism Kits” to our clients, which include a selection of retail products that are leading the way as sustainable alternatives. It is our hope that by introducing these products to our clients and audience that we can influence consumers to buy sustainably!
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