As most of you reading will already know, we are incredibly proud to be an environmentally aware dive centre. It’s more than just lip service with us though, and its about more than running land and sea clean ups, conservation dives, cutting down/eliminating our plastic use and getting involved with local government initiatives. We will continue to do all of these things – and more! – though. However it’s also about passing on our passion to our customers, and helping them to find more environmentally friendly options and alternatives to help them live a more environmentally aware lifestyle.
With this in mind, we are excited to announce the arrival of two new environmentally focussed items available now in our retail section – Moskitover bands and Sun Bear Sunscreen.
Most people who have travelled to Asia have fallen victim to a few ravenous mosquito’s at some point or another. If you are one of the lucky ones, you’ll get left with an irritable bite marks that itch for a day or so each time. However if you’re not so lucky, your bites swell into unsightly large pink circles – not exactly flattering when you’re wandering around in the Thailand heat in shorts and a vest top, or tanning in your bikini on the beach! It could be worse though, as aside from the annoyance and lack of aesthetic appeal that comes with mozzie bites, they also carry viruses such as Dengue Fever and Chikungunya Fever. These viral infections can be very nasty indeed, with symptoms including feverish temperatures, flu like aches and joint pain, headaches, and intense pain behind the eyes. If you are unlucky enough to contract either of these illnesses, then you’d expect a stay in one of our local clinics – and probably a pretty substantial claim on your travel insurance. Worse still, in other areas mosquitos can also carry Malaria, which can be life threatening.
Knowing all of this, most of us take active steps to protect ourselves from being bitten. Some natural products are available, but most contain diethyltoluamide, which is more commonly known as DEET. Even those that do not contain DEET all come in the same plastic packaging, which is bad for the environment. So when we heard about Moskitover bands, we were excited to get some in stock!
Moskitover bands come in recycled packaging, and are a wrist or ankle band fastened by velcro, into which you place a moskitover refill tablet. Protecting a 2m sqaure area, it can also be attached to fixed or mobile objects such as bedside tables, backpacks and baby slings. The bracelet itself is made of neoprene and a solid soft rubber, and is completely waterproof – as are the refill tablets, which are 100% organic and contain no harmful chemicals. Being exposed to water does not damage the pellet’s effectiveness – great news for our divers! Each tablet works continuously for up to a week at a time.
Moskitover bands are 350THB and come with 2 refill tablets included. Additional refill tabs are available for just 200THB each.
You can read more about Moskitiver online.
Sun Bear Sunscreen
We all need and use sun screen in Thailand on a daily basis to protect our skin from harmful rays. It is often difficult to find good sun screens here though, as few few are reef friendly. Sun Bear Sunscreen is the brainchild of an Australian couple, who’s love for travel and for conservation resulted in a desire to market a much needed product for a much needed cause, and Sun Bears seemed a logical option based on their own travel experiences.
Referred to as the ‘rainforest doctors’, Sun Bears spend their days dispersing seeds and protecting trees from pests. When they tear open tree trunks to reach the honey inside for example, they create nesting sites for the native birds and flying squirrels. Plus when they dig for invertebrates on the rainforest floor, they aerate and mix rich and poor soil together, boosting the nutrient cycle. So the forest needs them just as much as they need the forest. Now however thanks to deforestation and illegal hunting of their paws and body parts, they are under urgent threat – which means so are other species in the eco system that depend on their survival.
80% of all profit from Sun Bear sales goes to the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre, and the sun screen itself is palm oil free, Oxybenzone free, PABA free, rainforest derivatives free, vegan friendly, is not tested on animals, is produced using solar power, and comes in fully recyclable packaging. It is reef friendly which is fantastic news for us and our divers, although as always, we do advise applying 30 minutes before you enter the ocean to avoid any contamination or spread of oil/grease into the ocean ecosystem.
Sun Bear comes in small (75ml) and large (200ml) tubes and costs 350THB and 700THB respectively.
You can read more in detail on the Sun Bear website.
We hope you will enjoy these great environmentally aware products. If you use or know of any more great ideas or items that you think we could benefit from, please do drop us a line and let us know!