Tuesday, 18 December 2018

5 Tips for Ocean-Friendly Holidays from Project AWARE

Follow these tips to keep your holiday season green – and blue!
Courtesy of our buddies at Project AWARE.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. 

Unfortunately, it's also the most wasteful.

And whether you’re jet-setting to visit friends and family afar, attending parties or exchanging gifts galore, you’re bound to encounter and generate a lot more trash these next few weeks, compared to the rest of the year.

25% more trash!

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, American household waste increases 25% between Thanksgiving Day and New Year’s Day. During the same period, food waste, shopping bags, packaging, wrapping paper, bows and ribbons add up to an additional 1 million tons of trash per week. 

Whilst that's a big problem for large countries with systems and processes and facilities in place, imagine how huge a problem it is for those small tropical islands which you love dive. Like Curacao, for example, where most household waste goes to landfill.

As divers know all too well, a lot of trash doesn't make its way into proper waste management systems. Instead, it's carried down storm drains, rivers and streams to our oceans, polluting marine environments and endangering wildlife. The Ugly Journey of our Trash, as Project AWARE calls it:

5 Tips for Ocean-Friendly Holidays

The holiday season provides a perfect opportunity to practice mindfulness and reduce our consumption and interaction with debris-related items. So check out these “ocean friendly” tips from Project AWARE to help keep your holiday celebrations debris-free and altogether more fun :)

1) Gift Mindfully

Instead of giving Uncle Stan another sweater to add to his sizeable collection this Christmas, you could gift him a meaningful experience or donate to causes that he, you, or his friends and family care about.

For more mindful Christmas gifts, check out our 10 Gifts for Divers blog post - perfect if you've left things to the last minute...

2) Minimize Gift Wrap Waste

Get creative and try alternative gift wrapping methods. Upcycle newspaper or colourful magazines, reuse ribbons, or try the Japanese Furoshiki technique with reusable fabric instead of disposable wrapping paper.

Or go completely zero-waste with your gift wrapping and use the old “hide it behind your back” method. It’s fun and completely trash-free, and could be highly entertaining, depending on just how much Uncle Stan has had to drink..!

3) Practice Ocean-Friendly Travel - be an Eco-tourist

http://www.thedivebus.com/about/the-dive-bus-eco-policy/Heading overseas for Christmas? Lucky you!

Research eco-conscious tourism providers and book your trip with eco-responsible vendors, like 100% AWARE Partners and PADI Green Star dive operators who focus on waste and energy reduction management.

Pack thoughtfully - take reusable items like a stainless steel water bottle, cloth napkin and bamboo eating utensils so you can say “No thanks” to single-use plastic items that may well end up in the ocean. Check out The Dive Bus Packing Pointers for more ways you can reduce your impact on vacation - besides ocean friendly sunscreen, of course.

4) Dive Against Debris

Join in a dive site clean up!Make every dive you make this holiday season -  and year-round - count for conservation. Join in your local dive shop's Dive Against Debris clean ups, or if you're lucky enough to be diving overseas, check out 100% AWARE dive operators or PADI Green Star operators, or join in a monthly Project AWARE Adopt a Dive Site clean up.

(More info about The Dive Bus / Project AWARE Adopt a Dive Site here.)

Whenever you remove trash from a dive site, log and report it. With your help, Project AWARE and its army of dive shops and troops of divers who care about the ocean, are working to keep trash out of underwater environments for a clean, healthy ocean planet.

Give back5) Share the True Meaning of the Season – Give Back

Share your love for the ocean with friends and family by inviting them to join you, in taking action for conservation on a land or ocean Clean Up event.

Or by making a donation to ocean protection with the latest super-cool, limited edition Project AWARE merchandise -  which Uncle Stan may even  prefer to that sweater...

If anything in this post has given you food for thought, or you'd prefer any of the above as your Christmas gifts, please share it!

For more holiday gift ideas for divers, check out on our earlier Blog post and facebook page for helpful gift ideas from our very own Dive Bus Santa ...

Happy Holidays from all of us
at The Dive Bus!

#curacaochristmas #caribbeanchristmas #christmasdivevacation #divebus #divecuracao #divebuscuracao #@newyeardivevacation #divepackagecuracao #scubagifts #divegifts #giftsfordivers #learntodive  #love #scubadive #duiken #tauchen #vacation #holiday #curacao #dutchcaribbean #caribbean #rightnowincuracao #padi  #travel #wanderlust #100%projectaware #PADIgreenstar #adventure #scubadivergiftideas #oceanfriendly #projectaware #journeyoftrash #adoptadivesite

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

10 great Christmas gift ideas for your favourite divers OR ...

... how to win friends, influence people and take care of our oceans,
this Holiday Season

1. Pimp your dive buddies, friends and family - and protect the ocean
Project AWARE® is an international registered non-profit organization and a global movement for ocean protection powered by a community of adventurers (that would be you as well as us). Connecting our passion for ocean adventure with the purpose of marine conservation.

And, since it's a fact universally acknowledged that it's simply not possible to have "too many" t-shirts, check out their awesome range, printed using low-waste ink technology on 100% organic cotton that's sustainably made in a wind-powered factory.

 THIS, you have to try...

Gift a PADI eLearning course or a Discover Scuba Dive at your favourite dive shop, and you'll have a dive buddy for life. How useful is that!

Whether you choose a local dive shop or one in an awesome year-round dive destination like Curacao, choose a 100% AWARE dive center wherever possible. They make a donation to Project AWARE for every every PADI dive course certification issued.

So you're taking care of the ocean, as well as your family and friends, with this awesome gift.
 THIS, you have to try...

3. Change the picture...

If you, your dive buddies, friends and family actually do have too many t-shirts, or if you'd like to give or receive a meaningful gift:
  • donate to Project AWARE's ocean protection actions on their behalf 
  • ask them to donate to Project AWARE's ocean protection actions on your behalf, as their gift to you this year
A non-profit organisation, Project AWARE spends 75% of your donations on marine protection:

  • 32% Shark & Ray Conservation
  • 29% Marine Debris Solutions
  • 14% Ocean Protection
  • 25% Global Operations
     THIS, you have to try...4. Ditch the single-use plastic

    Avoiding single-use plastic, particularly over the festive period, makes a massive difference to our oceans. With an estimated 16 billion pounds of plastic entering the ocean each year

    And because diving makes you thirsty, ditching the single use plastic bottles of water by gifting re-usable metal water bottles from your local dive center, saves your friends and family money, too.

    Or pick up this fun one online (bikini-clad model not included):
    scuba tank water bottle http://amzn.to/1SjHSuh

    5. Give the coolest warmest gift EVER

    Stay warm this Winter: treat your buddies AND yourself to a Curacao Winter Dive vacation with these limited time Dive into Winter Specials... including a great DRIVE and DIVE offer.../div>
     THIS, you have to try...
     6. Pimp your dive buddy - with socks that protect sharks

    Not only are these these awesome Fair Tradewinds holiday favorites the coolest socks ever, they protect sharks, plant trees, fight breast cancer, give water, protect dogs, provide relief kits, keep feet warm and stylish - and give people a reason to talk about your feet...
     THIS, you have to try...
    7. Remove a pound of trash from our oceans and coastlines with these awesome bracelets
    Support 4Ocean’s mission to cleaning our ocean and coastlines, one pound at a time, by gifting these cool and highly meaningful bracelets this Christmas.

    With an estimated 16 billion pounds of plastic entering the ocean each year, each bracelet sold goes towards funding their massive clean up operations. It's a great way to "end the plastic pollution crisis together."
      8.  A super-funky skateboard - made from recycled marine debris!

    Meet "The Minnow" the first skateboard deck made from recycled marine debris! 25" long. Its 30% veggie oil wheels and premium marine grade hardware guarantee a quality ride, apparently - we'd be a bit more concerned about a quality fall.

    The coolest part besides just how funky the Minnow looks, is that it prevents more than 30 square feet of harmful plastic fishnets entering our oceans  - and provides support to local Chilean fishing communities.

    You've GOT to know someone who'd love one of these:
    9. Really useful dive stuff ...

    Keep an eye on The Dive Bus facebook and instagram channels for fun, ridiculousness and more Christmas gift inspiration - and our annual Team Christmas photo(s), as you wouldn't want to miss that, would you...?
    https://www.facebook.com/thedivebus https://www.instagram.com/dive_bus_curacao/

    10. Still can't decide what to get for your buddy? Let them decide instead.

    Whether you want to gift any of the above ideas or let your buddy decide on their own gift from you, the Dive Bus gift voucher is the way to go.

    Drop us an email, Skype us, whatsapp us or swing by and tell us what you'd like, who it's for, the gift and your cr card info.

    We'll make and send you a personalised e-gift-certificate for you to give or send to your favorite people. Job done. šŸ‘Œ


    It's not too late to book your Curacao Christmas vacation and open your gifts in 80+C / 27+F temperatures. And it's easier than ever to get to Curacao, with major airlines offering even more flights.

    If you're planning on diving with us at The Dive Bus this Christmas or New Years check out our Holiday opening schedule and get in touch. Hurry, hurry!

    Ho, Ho, Ho and happy gift shopping :)
    #curacaochristmas #caribbeanchristmas #christmasdivevacation #divebus #divecuracao #divebuscuracao #newyeardivevacation #divepackagecuracao #scubagifts #divegifts #giftsfordivers #learntodive #pegasusthruster #flythereef  #scuba #dive #duiken #tauchen #vacation #holiday #curacao #dutchcaribbean #caribbean #rightnowincuracao #padi #travel #wanderlust #adventure #diveequipment #scubadivergiftideas

    Tuesday, 4 December 2018

    Offshore Inspiration at The Dive Bus, Curacao:


    How Mark and Suzy Pinnell transformed a simple idea into one big business plan.

    Published in Underseas Journal, Q4 2018

    Discovering a beautiful CuraƧao shore dive site, marred by trash and fishing line, was the motivation for Mark and Suzy Pinnell to open The Dive Bus, the island’s first 100% AWARE Dive Center.

    When PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer and PADIAmbassaDiver™ Mark Pinnell and his wife, Suzy, discovered how incredible the shore diving was in CuraƧao, they didn’t realize their life was about to change. At the beach one day, they noticed a drop-off close to shore and decided to check it out. They discovered a beautiful dive site with a vast variety of life - but filled with trash and fishing line.
    “CuraƧao was mostly about boat diving then,” says Mark. “After exploring more amazing shore dive sites around the island, we decided to do something about changing that.”

    In 2005, The Dive Bus CuraƧao opened as a tiny dive shop on the beach by the drop-off that inspired their idea. These days, the dive shop is a PADI Five Star Dive Resort and has expanded to include a second Dive Bus and a Dive Bus truck. Their shore diving plan has proven so successful that other local businesses have followed suit. In this year's Scuba Diving magazine’s Readers Choice Awards, divers voted CuraƧao as the second best shore diving destination in the Caribbean and Atlantic region.
    “Divers liked the really simple Dive Bus philosophy: no crowds, no boats, no fuss, no bother, no worries, just seriously fun shore diving,” Mark says. “This differentiated us from the beginning, and we quickly established a niche and reputation.”

    Their personal attention also extends to their PADI dive course teaching styles, where classes are small, with a maximum of four students per instructor.

    And when it comes to using the dive facility, the Pinnells have an open-door policy.
    “We try to make it as fun, easy and convenient for our divers as possible,” adds Suzy. “Almost everything is on an honor system, including the Beer Board! And they love the convenience of the drive-up tank and gear room, rinse tanks and drying racks.”

    The team builds the daily dive schedule around their divers’ experience, preferences and skill levels. Just like the PADI dive course classes, their guided dives have low diver-to-pro ratios.
    “With bigger groups, you’re usually looking out for the divers, which makes it more challenging to find and point out cool marine life spots as well,” Mark says. “We’re able to do both, safely, without potentially damaging what the divers are there to see.”
    CuraƧao’s first 100% AWARE and Green Star Dive Center, conservation is also part of The Dive Bus model. In addition to making weights from recycled fishing line lead, the shop offers divers Eco-Friendly Packing Pointers before leaving home to reduce their impact on the island and has recycle bins on site.
    “We’ve increasingly focused on sustainability elements over the years,” says Suzy. “What’s great is how many divers choose to dive with us because of that, and how many are happy to join in and do the same.”

    From putting CuraƧao shore diving on the map, to implementing increasingly more conservation efforts, the Pinnells have taken a simple idea and created something that will benefit divers, and the island, for years to come.
    “My top tip for happy divers and happy instructors is to focus on making safety and quality, fun,” Mark says. “Because our instructors are excited and enthusiastic, our divers probably will be, too.”



    #divecuracao #seriouslyfundiving #thedivebus #PADI #Ambassadiver #100%AWARE

    Monday, 5 November 2018

    5 GREAT reasons to spend this Christmas diving in Curacao

    Why Christmas and New Years in Curacao ROCKS

    If you haven't decided where to spend your Christmas and New Years vacation yet, this may help:
    1. It'll be at least 85 degrees of sunshine, so you can be shoveling ice into your cocktail on the beach, instead of shoveling snow off  your driveway.

    2. While your nearest and dearest will be freezing their butts off back home, you'll chill out in one of Curacao's many, many beach-bars after another day of fabulous shore diving. before heading out for dinner in one of Curacao's many awesome restaurants...

    3. With ocean temperatures around a balmy 82 degrees or so - possibly warmer than the air temperature back home - you may not even need to dive in a wetsuit...

    4. The Caribbean festive-feeling is hard to beat - and Curacao's, in particular. This year's Curacao festivities begin on 17 November with the arrival of "Sinterklaas" by boat, with surprise appearances of him and his band of "Black Piets" all around the island, until he sets sail again on 6 December (lots of fun, bring plenty of candy...)
    5. And if you can't make it to Curacao for Christmas, you have to experience New Years Eve here (or "Old Year's Eve" as the Dutch call it). It's a spectacular, erm, spectacle, as the island's night sky explodes in, well, spectacular style. For hours.

      For sure, there will be no bad spirits left in Curacao by 1 January 2019 - just maybe a few bad heads...

      If you're thinking about or planning on, joining us for this amazing time of year, booking in advance is strongly recommended!

      We only take small groups of divers per Dive Bus Crew member and there are changes to our regular schedule during this Holiday period:

      And if you're not quite in the festive planning mood just yet, maybe this will help:

       (Or not!)

      Happy planning, ho ho ho ;)

       Contact us
      #curacaochristmas #caribbeanchristmas #christmasdivevacation #divebus #divecuracao #divebuscuracao #newyeardivevacation <#CHATA #PADI#rightnowincuracao #curacao