Guilt verses Proactive Actions

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So, what can we say, we are carbon polluters. As members of the travel industry, we are one of the worst culprits of carbon emissions as we encourage our cutomers to travel. Bad on us, bad on you, we use airplanes and there is not anything we can do about it. Or is there…..

Guilt is not going to resolve this issue, and stopping air travel is not either. Maybe Star Trek had it right when Scotty was ‘Beamed Up’ to where ever he went….maybe we should start looking into other ways to get to Mexico…not! Travel to other countries is a great way of people to understand the world, the planet and a great way to educate people about the environment. It just sucks, pardon my use of words, that we are creating tonnes of carbon emmissions while doing this.

Our customers learn a lot about the ocean, coral, fish and the eco system of the cenotes when they come to visit. If you did not travel you may still be diving in the freezing waters of Canada, you poor things, or diving in a local quarry. Some of you may be stuck diving for golf balls in water traps on localgolf courses as your way to get wet. So you will not see us saying…stop all travel so that we decrease our carbon foot print. We are true beleivers that your travel is a great educational tool.

Many companies want you to feel guilty about your air travel. We want you to be proactive about repairing your travel with carbon offset donations. Now the question is how, where and to whom.

First lets talk about carbon offsetting. Not everone knows about it and not everyone has heard about it. Or it may be just us who is not up to speed. This is very likely. In a nutshell, there are thousands of activities that produce carbon emmissions, driving, flying, bbqing, electricity, etc. The CO2 produced in these living activities, currently our normal living activities, effect the global ecology and atmosphere. Every tonne of carbon, or part there of, created in our activities is called a ‘carbon footprint’.

There are trees, eco energy alternatives like wind and solar, alternative choices that can make our carbon foot print smaller or in some cases erase our carbon footprint….or if we are really good, we do not create a carbon footprint at all!!!! In this day and age, unless we live in the jungle, eat foods that fall from the trees and dont move, a zero carbon footprint is rare if not impossible. As a realist, you will not see me walking from Tulum to Playa Del Carmen to work, and I will not ride my bike on the Highway either. But I have to say, I do not have an issue with public transportation. So though my carbon footprint is a bit smaller it is not zero….

What has been created to offset our carbon emmissions are companies and not for profit organizations that purchase or preserve land that takes away the carbon that we produce. Some also engage in changing carbon emitting activities like electricity production into non carbon emitting activities. They assist others in changing to solar and wind generated electricity. Zero carbon producing electricty alternatives.

Now lets get to you and diving. Diving as an activity can produce a lot of carbon emmissions or can produce very little. It really depends on how and where you dive. If you drive to your dive destination, carbon emmisions. If you fly to dive destination, carbon emmissions, if you take a boat to your dive site, carbon emmissions…..the act of diving does not produce carbon emmissions! We are doing something right. Diving in and of itself does not produce carbon emmissions, but how we get to the point where we can get into the water does.

We are in the process of deciding how you can offset your carbon emmissions from your dive travel. This is the issue. We have people from around the world coming to dive with us, so do we find an international agency that purchases forested land so that someone travelling from India will have donated to a Indian based carbon offsetting company or do we find a Mexican based agency that supports the carbon offsetting here. Sounds easy but it is not. Sourcing one agency that will satisfy all of our clients is a hard one. Finding 10 agencies is cumbersome. There literally are thousands of agencies that offset carbon emmissions. Give us some time as maybe we will open our own agency and have it based in Mexico. Then our divers can visit the place that they are supporting. We are slow sometimes on our decisions, we know, but we do eventually make good ones. In the next week or two with Dave we will make a great decision as to how we will let you be proactive about your carbon emmissions, and not be left guilt ridden for taking a flight.

If you want to have fun with this go to the following links to see what we are talking about.

Calculate your carbon emmissions using this carbon calculator at http://www.carbonfund.org/ or for travel carbon calculations at http://www.co2balance.uk.com/co2calculators/flight/

The David Suzuki Foundation has some great information at http://www.davidsuzuki.org/ and the New York Times had a great article at http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/10/travel/10carbon.html

If youare itching to donate now…..go to a Canadian based organization at http://www.offsetters.ca/ or to a UK based agency at http://www.carbonneutral.com/.

Our decision will be made shortly, but if you have any input, use the comments section below on the blog and lets try and make a decision together….

We have not made a footprint in the ocean and now we will try and make an impact on our footprints on land.

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