For the past decades, viewing the increasingly bleached coral reefs throughout the world, I’ve become more conscious of the fragility of our oceans and the creatures within, and more committed to traveling green and eating with sustainability in mind.
Conceived by the United Nations, World Oceans Day on June 8, serves as a timely reminder “to celebrate the beauty, the wealth, and the promise of the ocean.”
Aside from boosting mental health, healthy oceans are vital to addressing climate change. The world’s oceans supply most of the oxygen people breathe, while absorbing some 30 percent of human-made carbon dioxide,
In honor of World Oceans Day, sustainable travel brand Beyond Green is spotlighting ways in which people can help save the planet’s seas both at home and while traveling.
By choosing to stay at eco-conscious properties around the globe, guests can actively help protect the planet’s marine ecosystems, and make travel a force for good. While on property they can get involved with hands-on experiences including organized beach cleans, ocean conservation projects, and seeking out sustainable seafood options.
Ways to help save our seas while enjoying travel:
Say no to single-use plastics: A shocking forecast from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation confirms that if the world’s population proceeds on its current path, plastics could outweigh all the fish in the ocean by 2050. To help reverse this trend it is imperative to avoid single-use plastic water bottles, and seek out sustainable hotels, resorts, and lodges that are committed to do the same.
All Beyond Green members, from Ireland’s 800-year-old Ashford Castle to Botswana’s new Xigera Safari Lodge, have eliminated single-use plastic water bottles from their properties in adherence to the strict sustainability indicators outlined within the brand’s vetting process, based on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Help keep beaches clean: Visiting beautiful beaches is a fine way for travelers to relax and unwind, but unfortunately many beaches across the globe are battling litter and micro-plastic waste washed up on their shores. To help turn the tide of plastic pollution, guests can actively get involved with local beach cleans during their stays at member properties. This includes joining ‘green teams’ at Costa Rica’s beachfront Arenas Del Mar and Turtle Inn in Belize, whose staff regularly volunteer to help clean up their local areas.
Seek out sustainable seafood: Apps such as Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch and the Good Fish Guide put power in people’s hands to make responsible dining decisions, and supporting conscientious restaurants is also key. For example, Big Sur’s Post Ranch Inn, serves sustainable seafood in keeping with Monterey Bay Aquarium guidelines, and Harvest at The Ranch at Laguna Beach, earned Surfrider Foundation’s first “Ocean Friendly Restaurant” certification.
For a more hands on approach, to help handle the growing environmental issue of the non-native lionfish population destroying the barrier reef at Turtle Inn in Belize, guests can experience a unique diving opportunity to catch and cook the fish using traditional eco methods.
Support transformational opportunities: The Blue Climate Initiative, supported by The Brando in French Polynesia, has brought together world sustainability experts, including Beyond Green co-founder Costas Christ, to co-author a new book, Transformational Opportunities for People, Ocean, Planet, to advance action for global marine conservation and combat climate change.
Guests at The Brando can also meet with visiting marine scientists at its on-site Ecostation to learn about critical conservation initiatives and lend a hand by releasing fish larvae and baby turtles under the guidance of marine conservationists.
Embrace eco-organizations through travel: At Zanzibar’s andBeyond Mnemba Island guests can join staff to watch turtles hatch and learn more about the broader work conducted by Oceans Without Borders, andBeyond’s marine conservation initiative that supports the establishment of marine protected areas and promotes coastal conservation.
Islas Secas in Panama partners with the Islas Secas Foundation to support an array of ocean conservation projects and eco-education programs for local students.
(For more ideas on Green Travel, listen to Episode 12 of my award-winning travel podcast, Places I Remember. Follow wherever you get podcasts, or at the links in my bio.)