Swimmers across the globe participate in open water activities. Whether for competition or relaxation, there is nothing better than enjoying the wonders of nature while feeling buoyant and free and in our element – water!
Saltwater or freshwater, bright sunshine or overhanging clouds, chirping birds or playful fishes… being able to swim is an amazing skill which allows you to experience the beauty of lakes, rivers and oceans on a whole new level.
While there is endless enjoyment to be had in the water, there’s no denying our responsibility to preserve it too. Everyone, but particularly swimmers, have a role in protecting the waters and preserving natural resources.
To adopt a greener & more eco-friendly attitude, swimmers can utilise practical measures. A few of these measures are discussed below.
1. Swimmers, Buy Sustainable Swim Gear
Polyester and nylon are the two most popular fabrics used to make swimsuits. Both are plastic-based fibres which are slow to degrade and massively contribute to plastic pollution in our environment. Fortunately, sustainable swimwear is a reality. Thanks to researchers and brainboxes, brands have begun creating swimwear items for responsible consumerism.
Manufacturers have found ingenious ways to repurpose old materials into high-quality, flattering, and super comfy swimwear collections. Some brands regenerate old fishing nets, saving whales or dolphins from getting tangled up in them.
Other entrepreneurs recycle plastic bottles, saving them from ending up in a sea turtle or seagull’s stomach. As well as protecting ocean life from devastating plastic pollution, these reprocessed materials are also perfect for making innovative, non-toxic fabrics which are then blended and woven into fashionable, multi-seasonal swimsuits!
All of us can (and should!) work towards developing a greener future. If you are someone who particularly loves the open water, or any kind of swimming adventure, buy your gear responsibly. You can make a crucial contribution to the environment by choosing swimwear made of reusable materials like fishnets or bottles.
Not only will you be helping secure the healthy future of ocean wildlife, but you will also help small and ethical swimwear brands and give generations of swimmers the same pleasure that you get from the great outdoors!
Although buying a sustainable swimsuit or wetsuit may seem like a small act when you consider the myriad of challenges our ecosystems face, by doing that you will join a growing number of innovators and environmentalists making a difference to the planet!
2. Ensure Garbage-free Beaches & Wildlife
Sadly too often, stunning visuals of beaches or lakes are marred by monstrous piles of waste strewn all over. Some dedicated individuals put up anti-litter signs and organize beach clean-ups, but sadly. More of us – especially swimmers who enjoy the space – should assist and share the responsibilities of cleaning the beaches.
This is not only a life-saving practice for aquatic life but a practice which provides us with an even better swimming experience and a sense of satisfaction.
Whether you are doing a triathlon, making sandcastles, skinny dipping or scuba diving, make sure to perform these eco-friendly duties at your various watering holes:
- Install and use recycling bins
- Use digital devices instead of paper
- Use biodegradable and compostable food containers
- Encourage ride-sharing among visitors
Remember: all beach-goers and nature-lovers possess the ability to revitalize the life a beach by preventing litter and various polluting articles. You are one of them!
3. Maintain An Eco-friendly Swimming Pool
If you are lucky enough to have a swimming pool in your backyard, or if you are responsible for one, you will know just how much work it is to maintain on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis.
There are several pool-treating chemicals out there, chlorine being the most popular and efficient one. However, chlorine is also a pesticide which can harm plants, animals, and even humans severely if misused.
If you maintain a pool, you can choose environmentally friendly alternatives like natural mineral sanitisers or Ozonator systems.
You can also install a solar heater & heat pump to reduce the environmental impact of your pool.
With an eco-friendly pool, you can have peace of mind that, while your kids enjoy a swim in the backyard, you are also helping preserve the environment for them to enjoy as adults.
At the very least, you will set an example for your neighbours and guests to emulate: spread that eco-awareness!
By knowing that you are doing some environmental good, you will make that drink by the pool on a sunny day (after a long slog treating and cleaning it!) that much sweeter and more satisfying!
4. Limit Plastic Usage as Swimmers:
You can also take part in reducing your part in the world’s existing but not-really-solvable problem – Plastic. It’s a significant concern for our oceans and water bodies.
Different studies show that by 2050, there could be more plastic in the ocean than fish if we don’t take action. So what can you do as a swimmer?
For starters, you can significantly reduce your plastic footprint by making conscious choices to minimize plastic usage. Carry a reusable water bottle to the pool or beach, use a refillable water cooler, and choose snacks or energy bars in recyclable or biodegradable packaging. By doing so, you can collectively reduce the amount of plastic waste in beautiful aquatic environments.
5. Practice Water Conservation
Water is life, the reason that distinguishes us universally. No other planet has it! So, it’s a precious resource, and every drop counts, especially considering the growing water scarcity worldwide.
As swimmers, you can play your part by being mindful of water usage. Shorten your showers before and after swimming, and avoid wasting water while waiting for it to reach the desired temperature.
Similarly, if you’re a pool owner, consider investing in water-saving technologies such as covers to reduce evaporation or automated systems that optimize water circulation and minimize wastage. Additionally, spread awareness about water conservation within your swimming community, encouraging others to adopt responsible water usage practices.
In conclusion, becoming an eco-friendly swimmer isn’t a tough task at all. Although some adults have trouble empathising with ocean life and environmental issues, kids have no trouble imagining and pretending they are dolphins and sharks in the pool, and the fact is, we are part of nature.
Changing your habits is an easy step on our moral mission to preserve aquatic and terrestrial life.
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