Being a scuba diver has influenced me from a carbon footprint perspective and impacted the decisions I make from a land-locked state (Colorado). I remember many years ago taking my initial scuba certification pool classes with deer-in-headlights eyes and excitement about what I might see – and, of course, getting to walk around in my cool scuba suit. I remember the complete awe I experienced during my first open water dives, seeing these beautiful creatures and the world they live in for the first time. It changed me forever.
I was also changed forever by seeing the amount of garbage deposited in these fragile ecosystems.
I became more interested in all things ocean, really ALL things environmental, and how our human choices affect the other animals and plants we share this planet with. But what can I do from land-locked Colorado to help our ocean friends? I found myself making different choices as a consumer anywhere possible.
I started out, like most people, with a healthy commitment to recycling whenever possible. Soon I started to compost and really think before I commit to single-use plastics. I use washable cloth napkins and replace paper towels in my home with washable/reusable ones (I still keep a roll handy, and would estimate ONE roll of paper towels now lasts me about 4-6 months). I switched to beeswax reusable covers instead of plastic wrap when refrigerating leftovers. When shopping, I stopped using plastic produce bags, as I’m going to wash the produce at home anyway. In general, I now refuse plastic bags whenever possible.
Additionally, I round out each year by offsetting my carbon footprint with a donation to various sustainable climate/environmental projects via Gold Standard. Their carbon footprint calculator opened my eyes to what kind of consumer I was, and in ways I didn’t know mattered. It’s important to share that all of these little changes were not hard to adopt and are now a normal way of life for me. My personal journey has helped me realize my greatest impact isn’t in recycling my plastic containers, it’s in not needing them in the first place, and shifting my mindset in how I consume products before they make their way to our little fish friends.
by Guest Blogger, Jessica Howard
Jessica Howard has lived in Colorado for 25 year and was introduced to scuba diving in 2004, despite living in a landlocked state. She was immediately enamored and consequently fell in love with the ocean. Her extensive 18 year career in the Mortgage industry and degree in Finance, as well as her love for the ocean, made her the perfect fit to serve as Treasurer on the Mother of Corals Board of Directors.