International Earth Day, celebrated annually on 22 April, was created to demonstrate support and protection of the environment – it’s a day when we can reflect on our connection to the natural world and take the opportunity to embrace our local environment wherever we may be. As global health experts, COLUMBIA pure knows that there are many health benefits to be gained by experiencing nature, whether outdoors on land or at sea. In this blog we will explore how people onboard ships, whether a cruise liner or a cargo vessel, can make the most of their unique location and experience all the joys of nature.

The wonder of our oceans

For many of us, the vastness of the ocean brings a wonderful sense of tranquillity and serenity. It has a mesmerising power that can hold us transfixed for hours on end. When onboard, crew and passengers are lucky enough to be surrounded by the most breathtaking beauty, with horizons stretching out in every direction. While beautiful at any time, the horizon becomes otherworldly at sunrise or sunset and, add in dolphins playing in the wake of the ship – magic!

The link between nature and well-being

Many studies have shown the positive effects of spending time outdoors – on both mental and physical well-being. Whether it’s feeling the warmth of the sun on your face, breathing in the fresh sea air, or simply gazing into the distance at the endless blue of the ocean, being outdoors will reduce stress, improve mood and enhance overall happiness. Passenger ships in particular are perfectly designed for the outdoors with their sun decks, promenades and observation decks – where better to unwind, relax and recharge your batteries.

Learning from nature

Onboard ship is the perfect place to learn more about nature. Ships can organise guided nature walks to point out the wildlife and some even bring naturalists and marine biologists onto the vessel to share their wealth of knowledge on the ocean habitat and the importance of conservation. Passengers and crew alike can learn about marine life, oceanography, and sustainability initiatives helping them to gain a deeper understanding of how all living things are interconnected and see for themselves the delicate balance of our planets ecosystems.

Inspiring others to become conservationists

As seafarers, we have a responsibility to minimise the impact of our vessels on the environment and we at COLUMBIA pure are all committed to promoting sustainable practices in our work and our daily lives. Encouraging our crew and our guests to embrace the outdoors goes hand-in-hand with this commitment, we would like everyone to share in the joy that comes from nature. By experiencing nature in the wild, and potentially seeing the effects of careless behaviour on the oceans, for example the amount of single-use plastic floating free, people will be encouraged to follow sustainable practices for themselves.  We hope that crew and passengers will ‘take onboard’ our initiatives for protecting the marine environment and reducing our carbon footprint.

Enjoying the outdoors when onboard a ship, we are privileged to experience the beauty of the natural world and gain a deeper appreciation for its vulnerability. This connection can inspire individuals to become advocates for conservation and environmental protection. There are so many ways we can all participate from taking part in beach cleaning initiatives to looking after the wildlife inhabiting our own gardens. On International Earth Day and every other day of the year, let us be passionate about preserving all the natural resources of our planet so they are available for generations to come.