RED MANGROVE ECO ADVENTURES takes Eco-Tourism very seriously. We define it as ‘Tourism that allows the tourist to fully enjoy nature’s wonders whilst minimising their impact, and preserving these special places for our future generations’.
What your tour companies should be doing :
- Helping educate guests in how to snorkel properly without causing damage to the coral reef or marine life, and in why these environments are so special
- Keeping boats and humans a safe distance from any animals that may be disturbed by the presence of humans and allowing them to approach instead (such as manatees)
- Minimising use of disposable plastic. Several offices offer water refill to reduce empty bottle waste
- Using low-emission, low-fuel consumption engines on boats and keeping them well maintained
- Clearing recent garbage that is seen on the reef, but once a marine creature is using it as a home, we have to leave it alone
- Promoting education on coral reefs within the global community and trying to keep up to date on developments.
- Welcoming individual customers however they have arrived in Belize, but taking a stand against mass tourism in Belize’s delicate environment by refusing to do business with large multinational and cruise ship companies.
- Sourcing eco-friendly cleaning products for use in the office, on the boat, and in our homes.
- Membership of environmentally proactive groups, globally, locally and nationally.
What you can do (some of these are obvious!):
- Don’t throw any garbage overboard, colorful plastic is especially dangerous to marine animals as they are attracted to bright colors, ingest it, and can't excrete it, so they starve or suffocate.
- Watch your feet and fins when you snorkel, it’s easy to destroy corals or kick up sediment without paying attention. If you find yourself close, don’t panic and don't kick! Just gently move your feet or arms and allow the current to float you over the top.
- If using a camera, ask someone to ’spot’ you so they can pay attention to where you are when your attention is elsewhere.
- Ask questions of the companies that you use and places you stay to see what they are doing
- As everywhere be careful of the amount of water and electricity you use
- In your hotel, ask that they only replace sheets and towels when you need them to
- Caye Caulker has a growing garbage mound (with no barrier to protect groundwater) and little recycling facilites. Please think about what you throw away, could reuse, or pack out (especially batteries and plastic)
- Bring a fabric or string bag for groceries and refuse plastic bags when offered them in stores
- Try to use biodegradable toiletaries. With no sewage or waste water treatment plant here, eventually all chemicals end up in the groundwater and leach into the sea, affecting the reef. We have a small stock of these for sale.
- Make sure your souvenirs don't come from the reef, licensed black coral included
- Check what you're eating - some reef fish are vital to its survival, and some species are endangered, but you may still find them on restaurant menus
- Drink from glass bottles, not plastic ones
- Bring your own reusable container for take-out food. Polystyrene containers are given out by every fast food place but an environmental nightmare.
- Use a physical barrier against the sun, such as a tee-shirt and use bio-degradable sunscreen (now available from a few outlets in Belize). The oils from most commerical sunscreens wash off and damage the coral. However we do not encourage you to be unprotected from the fierce sun!