Stop Using These Items, Start Recycling

By John Bentley

Divers have a unique motivator to keep the environment in top shape. While wanting the wildlife to be present for us to enjoy as divers might be a selfish reason, it’s still a motivator. It’s no secret that 7 billion humans have a profound impact on our environment on the macro and micro scale.  We’re constantly making efforts to mitigate that effect by utilizing the 3 Rs and staying informed. How can we as divers implement the three Rs on the dive boats to stay ocean conscious?

Water bottles

The Divers Alert Network  encourages all divers to stay hydrated to minimize the chances of DCS. Staying hydrated is a multiday affair and assists in everyday life.  Staying hydrated often results in a case of water at the dive site or plastic water cups onboard. Anyone who spends time outside, whether it’s kayaking, hiking, biking, or running, won’t leave the house without their container(s) of water. Why are divers any different?  Pick up a bottle, metal or plastic, and stuff it in your dive bag. It’s worth mentioning that the major brands of plastic water bottles are made of highly non-reactive plastic. The scares surrounding BPA leakage were mostly media hype and primarily for disposable bottles.  Most of the plastic types used in major reusable companies (Nalgene, Camelback, etc) originated from laboratory storage, where they were preferred because of their lack of reactivity. Still unnecessarily scared of reusable plastic bottles? Snag an ever-more-popular metal bottle and worry no more.

Straws

Check out our article on straw usage here and make sure you let your restaurant servers and fast food workers know – “No straw please”

Batteries

Dive lights are advancing daily it seems. 1000 lumens is now a backup light and solid aluminum seems to be the staple construction. With that said, single-use batteries should be a thing of the past. There isn’t a reason for the save-a-dive-kit to be 90% AAAs anymore. Switch to the tried and true 18650 Lion or other versions of rechargeable batteries and lights that accept them. Unfortunately, even rechargeable batteries have a lifespan and when they can no longer hold a charge. Luckily battery recycling is pretty simple. Find a center nearby here: www.call2recycle.org

Recycling

When it’s time to dispose of the non-reusable products, make sure they get to a place that accepts recycling. If the dive shop doesn’t have a recycling bin simply ask for them to begin using one. The county probably has some version of recycling available for them, maybe they just hadn’t thought about it before. A good resource to find out what can and can’t be recycled can be found here: https://www.epa.gov/recycle

Let’s do our part to reduce waste that ends up clogging our oceans and dive sites by utilizing the 3 R’s and being conservation conscious.

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