What is a Torchbearer?
A Torchbearer is someone that cares deeply and strives for action in relation to the pressing issues that our environment faces. As divers, this should be all of us due to the fact that with no vibrant and thriving underwater ecosystems, there is no diving! There are 5 crucial steps of being a formal PADI torchbearer which are;
- Stand Up for the Ocean
- Assume Responsibility
- Dive with a Purpose
- Reduce Our Carbon Footprint
- Make Sustainable Choices
Check out PADI’s take on it here.
I'm going to run you through a few of the same ideas and a few of our ideas to make you the perfect underwater Torchbearer.
Dive against Debris
Along the lines of diving with a purpose! Here at The Fifth Point we make every dive count and take a trash bag with us on every dive. Picking up even a few little bits can make a huge difference! That may be the life of a fish that mistakes a plastic bag, for example as food! We’ve had dives where we (thankfully) find nothing and dives where there were fields of trash everywhere, as far as the eye could see. You even get extra awesome Diver points if you find something cool. We have a set of false nashers at the Dive Centre in our interesting underwater finds cabinet.
Treat yourself this Christmas to a trash bag and be the best eco-warrior you can be! Check em out here.
Trash collection before logging it with PADI AWARE
Think about your choices
Yep, make sustainable choices. Do you really need that new top or do you just want it? Did you know that the fast fashion industry produces millions of tonnes of textile waste every year. Do you know where it ends up? In the Ocean one way or another. Whether it's physically dumped directly into the Ocean or burnt on land, the Ocean is the largest carbon sink globally therefore the emissions produced from the combustion are absorbed by our precious waters. Plus, clothing contains them nasty microplastic fibres that we all hate so much. Why not try second hand shopping, often the pieces you find in Charity shops or on apps such as Depop are cooler anyways! Oooh and try to buy local, reduce them miles! If you’re a little more creative, attempt the whole upcycling thing too. I have tie dyed jeans, random tops I've cropped and bags I've made from off-cuts. Have a go! Spice up your wardrobe. Donate clothes and be better.
Reduce, reuse and recycle. This is so applicable to literally everything so give it a go. One of the biggest and most discussed issues that this list of 3 is related to is single use plastics. Ditch em where you can! Buy yourself a reusable water bottle, pick out loose veg from the shop and buy yourself little reusable essentials that you can keep forever.
Another way to make an active change and create action is to choose to write to your local politician and make our issues known. Think global, act local.
A difficult one for many is to stop supply and demand. We’re all little speckles in comparison to the bigger picture. Although, our little speckles together can create HUGE change! The bigger picture being Trans National Corporations that have no consideration for the environment, fuel climate change and Greenwash. Give local shops a chance to thrive. Think of where the product has came from, it's journey and the raw materials it's extracted.
Finally, our Carbon footprint. Walk or carshare where you can, buy local where you can and account for it. Here at The Fifth Point, Nic offsets all of our emissions. There's a load of websites to do it but she decided to go for ‘The Ocean Foundation’. Have a little read, choose your fave and offset some emissions!
Protect what you love
It all comes down to this. If we make small alterations to our day to day life then we can protect what we love as a united team.
A proper cute local Seal at The Farne Island Nature Reserve that we want to protect!
Educate yourself and others
One of my fave points ever as it's free and easy. You could literally just send the link of this blog to a friend (shameless self-promo), watch a documentary or take a new course. Find our Eco Speciality courses here. Everything adds up. Make your friends a small army of eco-warriors! Even them buying a reusable water bottle can save hundreds of single-use ones entering our Ocean.
The reason I became a Diver was to show people the epic shots of the underwater world… and the not so epic ones so that they can see exactly how and what we’re affecting.
A group of Scuba Divers doing a Beach Clean
Not everyone can be perfect
Yup, check back to reality. Although the ideal picture is a global community of Hippies living off the land with our toes in the soil on a plant-based homegrown diet where we wear leaves as clothes. That's not always possible, we have lives. So, take 1 point from this blog and apply it to your life. Even if that is as simple as getting yourself that reusable water bottle I've not stopped going on about. Think about it though… we need water to live and drink a lot of it so it's an easy change! We can't all be perfect so be the best you can.
Divers sorting their trash after trying their very best to clean our adopted dive site, Knacker Hole in Beadnell
5 simple steps to take to start you off on ya journey
It can be overwhelming reading all of this info and taking it in so here's my super simple list of 5 things you can do to start ya off on your journey.
- Buy yourself reusable essentials eg. waterbottle, tote bag, shaver, menstrual cup
- Reduce plastic where possible- shampoo bars, loose food (often this is local and fresh too so a bonus)!
- Check where your food is from, buy local where possible. If you check your food in the fridge, I bet you will have a global network in there!
- Support a Charity or Small business that supports what you love. For example, we at The Fifth Point donate often to the Tynemouth Seal Hospital <3.
- Stop and think. Do I REALLY need that new top? It will save you money too!
I really hope you’ve enjoyed my final day of blogmas. I saved this one til the end as its something I'm super passionate about.
I hope that you can find a way to make change.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year,
The Fifth Point Team x