As you guys know by now, Roatan Divers joined Go Blue Bay Islands in partnership with National Geographic and we completed our first environmental assessment last month. We discussed the things we were doing well on environmentally and things that could be improved on, and after the assessment we decided to grab the bull by the horns and implement what we could as soon as possible (before the results even came out!). We have our next assessment coming up in a week, and we're excited to show you some of the changes we've already implemented and to learn more ways that we can promote responsible tourism and environmentally friendly business practices on Roatan.
1. We installed a water efficient shower head
We know you guys all love our hot water shower and its amazing water pressure, so we wanted to make sure that we could have a water efficient shower head without compromising pressure. We found the perfect shower head that still offers a lot of power, but outputs 1.5 gallons of water per minute at its medium setting, far less than our previous shower head which was basically an Amazonian squall falling on your head. We haven't had a new water bill since we've installed it, but we're interested to see how things change next month.
2. We set up an informational display regarding poaching
A while back, a guest bought a conch shell from a street vendor without realizing that it's a threatened species, and donated it back to the dive center. We had the option of taking it back out to sea or using it as an educational tool, and decided to go the educational route to ensure that all of our guests are aware of the dangers of the illegal wildlife trade. The Roatan Marine Park kindly donated a few more confiscated items to fill out our display better, but we previously did not have a sign explaining why these items were on display, and the items were just placed in the corner without much fanfare.
After our first environmental assessment with Go Blue Central America, we set up a proper display shelf with information regarding poaching in an effort to inform as many people about the importance of responsible tourism. We also have a poster up with the Responsible Seafood Guide and information for minimizing plastic consumption, and this has inspired a lot of conversation regarding conservation so we're very excited about where all this will lead.
3. We reduced water consumption in the bathroom
As a dive center, we have a lot of people using the washroom facilities, and use a lot of water every day between the toilet, sink and shower. We're already reducing our water consumption with the water efficient shower head, but we wanted to take it a step further. To reduce our water consumption in the toilet, we place a full water bottle into the tank to increase displacement so that the tank would have to fill with less water to get full.
These were 3 very easy ways that we could reduce our environmental impact and increase awareness about responsible tourism. Each change required very little effort and money, but will make a greater impact in the long run. While we try to be as environmental friendly as possible, it's nice having an outside, professional source offer different ideas to further increase our environmental awareness, and we look forward to continuing our work with Go Blue Central America to support an environmental responsible tourist destination.