A majority of Fourth Element’s products are made of ghost fishing nets, which turtles can find themselves tangled in while in the waters.

Florida Keys divers continued to experience some bumpy conditions last week. Hopefully, we’ll see some calmer seas in the coming week. 

The sport of scuba diving is a very gear-intense sport. This appeals to most avid divers, but choosing which equipment manufacturer can be confusing. There are so many and the reasons to choose one over the other can vary.  But recently there have been certain companies that are rising to the top for a special reason that resonates with our way of life.   


Eco-friendly products are more sought after, and certain companies have listened. Two companies that come to mind are Fourth Element, which sells diving gear, and Stream2Sea, which makes reef-friendly sunscreen and lotions.  

Fourth Element’s mission statement reads, “To grow the brand through the creation of innovative, high performance products for divers, freedivers and ocean advocates, expanding our presence worldwide, providing exceptional service to our customers, considering the environment every step of the way.” This is what makes them stand apart from other manufacturers.  Their “ocean positive” approach is not only apparent in their products but also their packaging. They work to eliminate single-use plastic from their packaging. 

The majority of their products are made from at least 30% of recycled materials like plastic bottles and ghost fishing nets. It’s truly amazing to think that my fins are made of recycled post-consumer plastic waste, and my rashguard is made of ghost fishing nets.  The price is no different than similar products that aren’t helping the environment.  

Another product that anyone who buys sunscreen should choose is Stream2Sea. Many may ask, why?.  Did you know that 14,000 tons of chemical, non-biodegradable sunscreen are deposited into our oceans every year?  

Stream2Sea is the first and the only brand that ensures that all our sunscreen and skin care are scientifically proven safe to fish, coral larvae and our bodies. CONTRIBUTED

Stream2Sea is the first and only brand that ensures that all its sunscreen and skin care are scientifically proven safe to fish, coral larvae and our bodies.

Founder and formulator, Florida resident and Keys enthusiast Autumn Blum is a renowned entrepreneur, chemist, ingredient aficionado and life-long ocean advocate. Blum has testified before Congress, influencing notable bans on toxic ingredients in Hawaii, the Florida Keys, the Virgin Islands and other worldwide tourist destinations negatively affected by chemical-based personal care products.  This product should be in every person’s dive bag, boat and beach bag. We all have choices in life and I know that buying eco-friendly products seems like a drop in a very huge bucket, but if you’re a drop and I’m a drop and you teach your kids to be drops, all these drops will  eventually overflow that bucket.  So do your due diligence and choose to purchase from companies that make it their mission to produce an eco-friendly product, like Fourth Element and Stream2Sea. For more information on these amazing companies go to and

Eric Billips is is the owner, captain and instructor at Islamorada Dive Center and Floridia Keys Dive Center. He specializes in scuba, rebreather, spearfishing and captaining in the Florida Keys