Be aware of you footprint in Raja Ampat
How to reduce your ecological footprint while being in Raja Ampat ?
Raja Ampat is one of the last dive paradises with a healthy under water environment. You can find more than 70% of the world’s corals here and we are proud to share our paradise with you!
But keep in mind that tourism also affects the environment. Especially the trash and micro-plastic which are a growing problem on the islands and pollutes the nature, air and ocean!
Here are a few pieces of advice on how to reduce your ecological footprint whilst you enjoy Raja Ampat. Of course you can also adapt this lifestyle at home:
1. Don‘t litter!
Please avoid bringing any plastic to the island! In Soul Scuba, we’re just starting to sort trash and find options to recycle. But not every island or homestay has a proper system to deal with the trash. Often the trash is buried in a pit or burnt which has poisonous effects on our environment. So if you can avoid it try not to bring any plastic packages or to take them back home. Please, use refillable water bottles instead of plastic bottles and proper bags instead of plastic bags. If you bring any snacks, remove the plastic before traveling and store them into some Tupperware. That will help deter any animals that might enjoy your snacks. Cans are mostly recycled as there is a refund system in Wasai, but please ask your Homestay to be sure if they really recycle them! Then you can enjoy your coke or beer even more! Also if you smoke, please dispose of your cigarette butts properly. Be sure to use our sorting system. If you feel like doing any beach clean-ups we invite you to sort the trash in our containers afterwards. That would be a great help to keep the island clean!
2. Use organic cosmetic products and reef save sunscreen!
There are a lot of cosmetic products that contain micro-plastic and other harmful substances. Already in Western countries it’s hard to filter them out of the water. Imagine now how it is in Raja Ampat, where there is no filter system for the water. The polluted water seeps into the earth and eventually into the ocean. There the micro-plastic harms animals and corals which leads to a slow death of that amazing marine life you wish to see in Raja. That’s why it is so important to use organic cosmetic products and reef safe sunscreen. You can read further information in our blog post Save the reefs: Coral restoration in Raja Ampat. So please make sure to buy some reef safe sunscreen and environmental friendly products before coming to Raja Ampat!
We are happy to announce that our friend Lynn will begin selling natural shampoo in the Raja Ampat area and at Soul scuba. If you are interested, be sure to bring some reusable bottles to fill. The proceeds from the sale will support the amazing SEApeople that restore corals in the area. Read SEApeople's blog post about global warming here You can also find natural soap sold in Soul scuba divers and in very near future we will be selling reef safe sunscreen. More about our beauty products in future blog post !
3. Dive or snorkel with awareness!
If you come to Kri, you will for sure enjoy our beautiful under water life. That’s what we all love! But as you know, corals are very sensitive. So please pay attention to your buoyancy while diving. Don’t swim too close to the corals and make sure your equipment doesn’t accidentally damage the corals. Never touch the corals or break pieces off! The same goes for any marine wildlife which you should avoid touching or chasing. That will only frighten and scare them away! If we find any rubbish in the ocean our Soul Scuba Team makes a habit of collecting it, feel free to join us in this! We always have trash bins on board and every single piece of trash that’s removed from the ocean is helpful!
4. Share boats!
To get to Kri Island, or to travel anywhere in Raja Ampat for that matter, you will need to take a boat. But of course the boats are run by petrol and produce carbon emissions. Nearly 2,5 kg of CO2 is released by burning one liter petrol! As you know, carbon emissions are largely responsible for global warming and the harmful effects this causes on the environment! By sharing boats (or even taxis in Sorong or Wasai) with more people you will help reduce the carbon footprint if your trip. Besides that, you can also share the cost of the boat which are one of the highest expenses in Raja Ampat!
These are just a few basic tips that you could even be aware of in your own country. For sure these are small things but everyone can make little step towards a healthier nature. Feel free to share more ideas with us! We hope to not only thinking of reducing your footprint while you are on holidays. Ideal way would adapt these on your everyday life. If we all work together by small changes we can make the world better place for us and next generators, and help the humanity to survive. Earth doesn't need us, we need to Earth.