"WE DO NOT INHERIT THE EARTH FROM OUR ANCESTORS,
WE BORROW IT FROM OUR CHILDREN.”
Ocean First Divers was founded in 2005 to be an advocate for ocean ecosystems in the dive industry by stressing education, conservation and sustainability.
For decades our oceans have been ravaged by pollution, coastal development, overfishing and global warming. It is impossible to overstate the importance of the health of the ocean and its interconnectedness to all life on the planet. Coral reefs are home to a quarter of all marine species, but bleaching has degraded 25% of all reefs worldwide and another 60% are deemed highly vulnerable. Of the entire scuba diving industry, less than five percent of all dive shops can be described as environmentally friendly operations.
Ocean First Divers works closely with the dive industry, environmentalists, non-profit organizations and local communities to help educate and empower a generation that must recognize the importance of maintaining our oceans.
The company’s environmental initiatives developed as a grassroots approach to scuba diving, striving to take ocean conservation and marine biology education to new levels to establish an industry precedent for accountability and preservation. In the early stages of moving towards energy independence, we derived our energy from wind power and adopted a carbon-offset program, allowing us to become the world’s first carbon neutral dive shop! At the same time we were also offsetting all dive travel by investing in renewable energies through the purchase of carbon and forestry credits. We have since embraced the audacious goal of retrofitting our facility to become as green as the existing building will permit. We installed solar PV and thermal systems, variable speed pool pumps, high-efficiency boilers and a regenerative heat exchanger. Thanks to Colorado’s abundance of sunny days, we are often producing a surplus of electricity! You can read more about our building upgrade HERE.
Our steadfast commitment to sustainable business practices has earned us PADI’s Environmental Achievement Award every year since its inception—an honor that no other dive business on the planet has achieved. We received a second, equally prestigious accolade once we switched to Scuba Schools International, gaining their highly acclaimed Diamond Dealer rating.
Due to our deep familiarity with the Environmental Achievement Award, we felt that it did not adequately address the plight of the oceans. We decided to push further, creating the Green Star Award, an eco-certification program that further addressed sustainability and operator accountability within the industry. While we were excited that PADI supported and eventually released the Green Star Award- in the process bestowing the inaugural honor to Ocean First Divers- we felt the industry needed to become even more accountable. We wanted something more substantive than recognition for past actions; we wanted a proactive approach to sustainable business practices. To achieve this goal, we teamed up with Sustainable Travel International to create the Dive Center Standard, a comprehensive eco-certification that helps businesses manage their impacts and lower costs through resource productivity and waste reduction while contributing to environmental conservation and the well being of the local community. You can learn more about this industry leading program HERE.
And the best of all, we’re just getting started!