Be aware & care
Koh Tao, a tropical paradise, shouldn't we keep it that way? There are over a 100 000 visitors per year, who obviously have a severe impact on the eco-system. Unfortunately there are no garbage disposal facilities, what can't be burned, has to be taken away. There yet is no department to clean roads or the open landscape.
So, it is everybody's responsibility to help keeping this problem as small as possible.
Here is what you can do (or not do), to make a difference:
- Watching bad behaviour, does not mean it's okay to do the same, better to give a good example to others.
- Don't dump your waste in the open landscape, there are plenty of rubbish bins, even if sometimes difficult to spot.
- When going trekking, don't leave a trail of garbage, cigarette butts and empty water bottles behind.
- Cigarette butts need ages to decompose & the ashes spoil the beach, so use a portable ashtray or empty softdrink cans or such.
- Avoid using plastic bags, which will be offered for every little purchase, bring your own re-usable bag instead.
- Stop using plastic straws & foam food packaging, which with the plastic bags cause the main garbage problem.
- Water is scarce, especially during the hot season, don't waste it, don't leave it running, especially during a shower.
- Electricity, supplied by generators, is very expensive, be economical, switch off lights & aircon when not in your room.
The sea is naturally at higher risk because pollution is not as instantly visible as it is on the land. Imagine that yearly cleaning events organized by the dive schools retrieve tons of garbage from the bottom of the sea.
First rule: Don't throw anything at all into the sea!
Second rule: Just look - never touch!
Marine life is very sensitive & easily harmed, even killed, some is poisonous and some will just ... bite!
Also organic waste (like pineapple, watermelon skin or lunch leftovers) should never be thrown into the sea, as fish will love eating it but then die slowly being unable to digest it as well as it will cover the corals and litter the beaches.
Corals are very slow growing, but fragile and easily destroyed, often by accidental contact with the scuba gear.
Dead corals and shells are very important for the bio-cycle, so everytime you wanna pick up a souvenir, consider the impact of thousands of tourists doing the same must have. Besides most underwater beauty fades away quickly when taken out of its natural habitat, a photo or video is always the better and longer lasting choice.
All in all, the basic rule should be to simply to leave this fantastic place the same as you'd like to find it: Unspoiled!
Koh Tao can suffer easily under severe water shortage.
Be conscious and save water - it does matter!!