6 ways you can help protect the Great Barrier Reef while travelling

We’re proud to be part of the Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef, whose aim is to protect and conserve reefs around the world including the Great Barrier Reef. As a Citizen, we’ve joined a global movement by collaboratively taking actions to positively impact the reef such as using reusable bottles and bags and promoting this to our travellers around the world.

The Citizens platform encourages us to unite and commit to actions together on a global scale. There are 6 simple actions, each having a positive impact on the Reef:

1. #HoldtheStraw 

Did you know that in the USA alone, 500 million plastic straws are used every day, releasing over 219 billion kgs of CO2 into the environment every year? Ditch the plastic by choosing a reusable straw (they come in bamboo, paper or metal so you’ve got plenty of choices). Alternatively, go without a straw when getting your favourite smoothie from the local café and encourage them to go plastic-straw free while you’re at it too!


2. Banish the Bag

Every year, approximately 1 TRILLION plastic bags are used around the world, which contributes to over 30 billion kgs of CO2. Plastic bags are the worst when it comes to damaging our marine environment. Countless numbers of our marine life are killed due to entanglement or ingestion. It’s time to #banishthebag for good! Why not grab a reusable bag? They’re stronger, last longer and look pretty cool too! Plus, they make great companions when you’re out travelling the world.


Stray Reusable Bag


3. BYOB (Bring Your Own Bottle)

Plastic bottles – just another piece of plastic damaging our planet. Every minute, 1.2million single-use plastic bags are bought around the world. That’s about 7.9million kgs of CO2 released into the atmosphere every hour. Ditch the plastic bottle and opt for a reusable one, they’re better for you and the environment and they’re super handy when you’re travelling on the big orange bus or doing some of the world’s best hikes. #BYOB


Stray Reusable Bottle


4. No Leftovers Left Behind

Can you guess how much food is thrown out each year? 1.3 billion tonnes! Not only is this a waste of energy, labour, and resources for the farming and transport industries but when the food reaches landfill it emits potent greenhouse gases which aren’t good for the environment. Say #noleftovers by only buying what you need (tip: don’t go shopping when you’re “hangry”), re-use your leftovers (keep it for lunch the next day, or share it with other travelers – they’ll love you for it!).


No leftovers left behind


5. Carry your Cup

This one’s for all the coffee lovers out there! Ditch the single-use cups, even if they’re “compostable” unless you’ve got a commercial-grade green bin. Did you know, every minute, 1 million disposable cups are thrown into landfills which release huge amounts of CO2 into the air? It’s time to #carryyourcup – another great way to go reusable. Support cafes who support the reusable cup movement or enjoy your brew in the café itself – a great way to relax and unwind with your travel mates after a long day of adventurous activities!


6. Sponsor a COTS Diver

Not all fish are our friends! Heard of crown-of-thorns starfish? They’re one of the major threats to coral on the Great Barrier Reef over the last 30 years. COTS divers must cull each individual starfish to save our healthy coral. These hero divers have removed more than 600,000 COTS from over 80 reefs so far, but there’s still lots of work to be done. Your support could help train a new COTS diver to join this legendary team and make for a cleaner and safer Reef so you can feel better swimming with the fishes when you visit the Great Barrier Reef.


COTS Diver Citizens of Great Barrier Reef


At Stray, we’re all about making a difference! Whether it’s big or small, we aim to make a positive change every day to protect our community and environment. We want Strayer’s to have an incredible travel experience as they travel the globe. Part of that is playing our part in protecting our beautiful planet for the people of today and tomorrow. It’s also about supporting the wonderful local people who welcome us into their communities and reaching our goal of becoming an environmentally sustainable company.

Check out our Sustainable Traveller’s Bible for more tips on how you can explore the world without harming the environment.


Keen to join us in supporting the Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef?

There are many ways you can help. From ticking off the 6 positive actions mentioned above to making a donation and spreading the word.

Become a Citizen

You can become a Citizen of the Great Barrier Reef too and encourage your friends and family to join you on this journey for positive environmental change. Once you’re a Citizen, you’ll get a bunch of awesome resources such as videos and posters which you can share with your networks to encourage sign-ups.


Make a Donation

Want to support the cause but not become a Citizen? That’s easy! You can make a donation to the Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef by clicking here and then clicking ‘Donate’ in the navigation bar. You can also this link with your friends and family – every little bit helps!

Remember to mention @CitizensGBR or using the hashtag #CitizensGBR when spreading the word.

Let’s make this planet greener so we can enjoy exploring this beautiful world without costing the earth!

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She likes to explore New Zealand and to blog about it. No preference in North or South Island as both are equally beautiful, yet in a very different way. Follow Bhavisha's journey on our travel blog to get inspiration for your upcoming NZ trip.

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