Return to a Better Normal.
Most of us are shaking off the cobwebs after an unprecedented period of hibernation and are hoping to return to a normal life. The latest awful trend phrase "New Normal" springs to mind, yuk! Lets face it, normal as we knew it has changed, will continue to change and may never return to what it was. Some changes are subtle, others not so. Most of us are conservative (small c), in that we enjoy the familiar and only change if we have to and maybe even then with reluctance.
Is Not Returning to Normal Such A Bad Thing?
Our dive centre is close to Rivelin Valley, a lovely, meandering area of woods and wilderness that we use daily to walk our dogs. It has been noticeable during lockdown how clear of human debris (litter not bodies) it has been. As the lockdown has been eased the litter has returned with a vengance, especially on the warm sunny days. Who would ever want to return to this as normal? Social media has been full of similar sentiments when hoards have descended on beaches. It has also been noted how air pollution has decreased with even reports of the ozone layer repairing. If any positive can be taken form the devastation reaped by the Covid 19 virus, it should be that. By changing how we run our lives, we can all benefit from a healthier planet.
Let the New Normal be a Better Normal!
Divers are, to a large extent, conservation minded. We see first-hand the impact of pollution on the seas we dive in. Maybe we should try harder to get the message across to our less fortunate, non-diving bretheren. PADI have some superb initiatives and programmes to assist with this. Most of us have come across Project AWARE and Dive Against Debris amongst the many initiatives under the AWARE banner. Adopt a Dive Site promotes divers accepting personal responsibility for the dive sites we use as our playgrounds. (Please get in touch if any of these interest you).
PADI have taken further giant steps to reduce the immense amount of plastic waste generated by any huge business, learning online is being promoted to reduce printed materials and postage, and the biggest step forward is that all certification cards will now be e-cards kept on your phone. Plastic cards will be available and will be made from recycled marine waste, but will be charged extra. Two of the manufacturing giants, Apeks & X-Deep have taken the initiative to use zero plastic in their wrappings. The plastic has been replaced by recycled and recyclable paper. X-Deep have gone as far as making the boxes raw brown, taking out printing chemicals from the equation. These firms deserve our support and applause.
Take a moment to consider how your daily activities may have changed recently, have you registered some of the tiny increments that make life rich? Sometimes it is the simplest of things we miss the most, such as good company and staring our over the ocean.
Make the most of your good buddies when we can return to full diving activities, enjoy the facilities that the inland dive sites work so hard to provide for us. Delight in the rich and varied coastline we have around our country. Never want to return to the old world where we use the planet as our dumping ground.
Let the new normal be a clean and uncluttered one!