Get Involved, Go MAD (Make a Difference)
There are many ways you can play a role in helping protect and save the coral reefs in Malaysia. Here are some options you could consider.
The best way to get involved in Reef Check's conservation programmes is to join our survey trips. First you will need to enrol in an EcoDiver course, which trains you to do Reef Check surveys. You will then be able to participate in surveys (not just ours, but anywhere in the Indo-Pacific!) to collect the data we need to assess the health of coral reefs. The information from the surveys has very practical uses in identifying problems facing the reefs, and finding solutions. There are three elements to the EcoDiver course:
• Buoyancy assessment and training
• Indicator species identification skills
• Survey practice
Doing a Reef Check survey dive is very different from doing a normal leisure dive. Survey diving requires not only a high level of concentration and discipline, but also requires the diver to have good dive skills, to avoid damaging the reef and to collect good data. Divers must be able to hover motionless and dive inverted (head down, feet up), while carrying a slate and recording data. These skills are not often used while leisure diving. We have developed some simple performance requirements that are used to assess divers.
The EcoDiver course can be completed in 4 days and costs RM 820 per diver. Contact us here: email@example.com
What can we do at home?
• Reduce, reuse and recycle
• Turn off your electrical appliances at the wall. Leaving them on standby with the little red light on still uses up electricity
• Turn off lights and fans when not in use.
• When buying products, look out for their efficiency grade and rating.
• Use public transport more often. If you really have to drive, try carpooling.
• Avoid using household cleaning products containing harmful chemicals. This will get washed down the drain and eventually end up in the sea. You can buy eco-friendly products or better yet, make your own out of natural substances like vinegar and lemon juice.
• Buy locally produced food and drinks. This reduces the carbon footprint of your diet.
• Eat organic food. They are grown without insecticides and pesticides.
• Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth. You can save 5-10 litres of water a day.
• It rains almost half the year in Malaysia. Collect it to water your garden.
• Start a compost bin at home to reduce the amount of trash you throw out every day. The compost will become fertile soil which you can then use.
• Recycle your paper. Papers with a clean side can be reused or made into a notepad. If you have to buy paper, buy recycled paper.
• Give away your unwanted clothes to charity. There's someone out there who will want that t-shirt that you think is too un-cool for you.
• Bring your own reusable bags when you go shopping.
• Most importantly, don't be shy to be an advocate of green living!
What can we do when we are travelling?
• Buy products that are locally produced and sourced.
• DO NOT buy souvenirs made out of corals or sea shells.
• Take time to educate yourself about the local customs.
• Choose a hotel or resort that makes the effort to reduce their impact on the environment.
• Minimise your electricity consumption, e.g. turn off your air conditioning when not in the room.
• Minimise your water usage.
• Help to reduce plastic waste by re-using drinking water bottles.
• Use biodegradable products whenever possible.
• Minimise waste by recycling.
• If hiring the services of a guide, try to ensure that they have professional certification.
What can we do when visiting the islands or reefs?
• Do not collect any sea shells or dead corals on the beach; they provide shelter to small animals and produce sand over a long period of time.
• Do not touch corals. They are fragile animals that die and break easily under pressure.
• Do not wear fins in shallow areas or stand on corals with them. It takes many years for corals to grow back once they are broken.
• Dispose your trash in the nearest bin. Do not litter into the sea. It can kill marine life!
• Do not feed the marine animals as it will disrupt their feeding habits and behaviour.
• Look for Green Fins certified dive centres if you wish to snorkel or dive.
Join our network of partner dive centres that are committed to protecting coral reefs by becoming a Reef Check Certified Dive Centre. All you need to do is get one of your staff trained as a Reef Check Trainer. Your dive centre will then be able to conduct EcoDiver trainings and we will work with you to establish permanent survey sites to contribute towards our Reef Check surveys. We will promote your dive centre on our website. Contact us here: firstname.lastname@example.org