Our oceans are facing more threats than they've ever faced before. People are dumping more oil and plastics into the ocean, causing coral bleaching and killing fish. Polluted rivers that lead to the ocean with harmful chemicals are destroying forests in developed nations and rainforests in back-of-beyond third world nations. The list could go on and on, but how do we stop this?
Anybody who has seen the iconic image of Earth floating in space can easily see that our oceans are a large part of our planet. However, changes have been happening all over the world's oceans. The water has been getting warmer. As a result, we have seen multiple problems occur with coral reefs. The seafloor region, known as The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, has been growing at an alarming speed and is now three times the size of France!
Every year, millions travel to the beautiful shores of vacation destinations. Yet, people rarely think about what their actions are doing to the ocean. When it is a vacation visit, it's a distant concept, not something in line with their daily life. However, many global statistics show that we are steadily on a course toward destroying our marine life by 2050.
It's easy to feel powerless facing the ocean's many issues, but it doesn't have to be that way. The oceans are a big part of our planet, covering more than 70% of the Earth's surface. The oceans provide many resources we need to survive. Unfortunately, they also absorb a lot of pollution. This means that anything we do to protect them will make a difference. We all want a world where our oceans are healthy and thriving. However, it takes more than just a wish; it takes action.
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Here are ten simple things you can do at home, around town, on the water, or anywhere to reduce your impact on the ocean and protect its future.
- Conserve Water
- Reduce Pollutants
- Reduce Waste
- Shop Wisely
- Reduce Vehicle Pollution
- Use Less Energy
- Fish Responsibly
- Respect Habitat
- Demand plastic-free alternatives
1. Conserve Water
Water is the most important resource on earth, and it's running out. For example, the average shower uses about 10 gallons of water per minute. Unfortunately, most Earth dwellers are probably unaware of how much water they waste. An excellent way to start saving water is by:
- Conserve water by turning off the tap while brushing your teeth and washing dishes. Turn off the tap while you brush your teeth, wash your face and hands, or shave. You can also use a pitcher in the bathroom instead of running the faucet all the time. Remember, if you have a dishwasher, don't run it until it's full!
- Take shorter showers and buy low-flow shower heads.
- When camping, bring a bucket to collect water for washing hands instead of using disposable wipes or paper towels.
- Plant native plants that need less watering in your garden and lawns instead of exotic plants from other countries that require more care and attention from humans!
- Use leftover dishwater to water plants, the grass, the garden, or wash cars instead of letting it go down the drain!
- Repair leaks in your plumbing system. Check for a leaky toilet flapper valve and replace it if needed. Check for a broken toilet tank ballcock assembly and replace it if needed.
- Use the dishwasher instead of washing dishes by hand. When you wash dishes, even if you are rinsing them off before putting them in the dishwasher, fill the sink. Don't let the water run.
- Water your lawn at night or early morning to reduce evaporation
2. Reduce Pollutants
The most important thing you can do to help save the world's ocean is to reduce your own pollution. Pollutants are things like trash, chemicals, and sewage dumped in waterways and end up in our oceans. This can cause problems like disease outbreaks and dead zones, where there's so much pollution that nothing can live there anymore. Every time you throw away a plastic bag or use non-biodegradable soaps and chemicals, you contribute to the problem of pollution in the oceans. This is why it is essential to buy products that are made from non-polluting materials. Also, be intentional in your shopping, like organic cotton clothing and paper towels instead of plastic ones.
To reduce pollutants, you can:
- Donate to an organization that helps clean up trash and other harmful waste products on land or at sea
- Reuse materials instead of throwing them away each time they get used up (like old plastic containers)
- Use less energy, so fewer greenhouse gasses are emitted into the atmosphere
The ocean is the largest ecosystem on Earth and is in trouble. The ocean is polluted with a variety of harmful chemicals that can be ingested by marine life and humans. One of the most significant contributors to this pollution is plastic waste. It can bioaccumulate within fish and other marine animals' bodies.
One way you can help save the world's oceans is by reducing your plastic consumption. This means using reusable water bottles instead of buying bottled water and using a reusable coffee cup instead of taking disposable cups from coffee shops. You can bring your own bags when you go grocery shopping. Be mindful of buying environmentally friendly products. Don't buy things you don't need, or use less of things you do need (e.g., paper towels or toilet paper).
3. Reduce Waste
The ocean is a natural resource that can provide many things, including fishing and shipping. First, however, we must focus on saving our oceans from pollution and other issues. One of them is by reducing waste.
If you want to help save the world's ocean, you should consider reducing waste in your daily life. You will find out that doing so can have a big impact on the environment and your health.
We all know that tons of plastic bottles are thrown away every day, which take a long time before decomposing into smaller pieces. Eventually, they end up in our oceans, where they can harm sea animals. Many times fish and turtles swallow them while feeding.
It's easy to feel like your impact is negligible regarding global sustainability, but you can make a big difference by making small changes in your personal habits.
Waste is one of the most significant contributors to pollution in the ocean. If you can reduce your waste, you are helping to save the world's oceans.
- When grocery shopping, bring reusable bags instead of plastic or paper bags.
- You can also bring your reusable containers for buying bulk food items at the store.
- Use reusable straws instead of plastic ones. Plastic straws are made from petroleum and take hundreds of years to break down in landfills.
- Take your reusable containers, fork, spoon, and knife when eating out.
4. Shop Wisely
Shopping wisely is a great way to help save the world's oceans. When you buy products made with recycled materials, you are helping to reduce the waste that ends up in landfills. When you purchase products made from sustainable materials, such as bamboo, recycled polyester, fair trade products, or that use renewable energy in their manufacturing process, you are helping to reduce the impact on our planet.
In addition, by shopping wisely, you are supporting brands that have a proven commitment to sustainability and ethical practices. This means that they have been vetted for their environmental practices. This makes them less likely to harm marine life than other companies.
Buy eco-friendly makeup that contains ingredients like coconut oil instead of petroleum products or plastic microbeads. These toxic trends wash into waterways and hurt wildlife when consumed by sea creatures. For example, fish or dolphins mistake the microbeads for food which causes marine life to perish.
Buy products made from recycled materials, such as paper products made from recycled paper instead of buying new ones made from virgin pulp. This will reduce pollution from forests being cut down for new trees to make paper products!
5. Reduce Vehicle Pollution
If you drive your car or truck less often, there will be less exhaust in the air. Less carbon dioxide being released into the environment will help keep our oceans healthy. You can also reduce the yearly miles by taking public transportation instead of driving or carpooling with friends and neighbors.
It is estimated that the world's oceans are absorbing more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than they have in at least 800,000 years. This has led to rising acidity levels and a dangerous increase in ocean temperatures.
If you are driving a car, consider using public transportation or carpooling with friends and family. Also, consider purchasing a hybrid or electric vehicle to reduce your carbon footprint.
When you do have to drive, here are some simple steps you can take to reduce your impact:
- Make sure your tires are properly inflated. This will increase fuel efficiency and help reduce emissions. Therefore, resulting in fewer chemicals in our air and water.
- Don't idle your car while waiting at a stoplight or parking lot. Turn off the engine instead. You'll save gas and reduce emissions.
- If possible, try walking or biking instead of driving. Even if it's just once a week.
6. Use Less Energy
The ocean is home to thousands of species, and it's our responsibility to protect it. One way you can help save the ocean is by using less energy. Although this may seem small, it greatly affects how much CO2 goes into the atmosphere. As a result, less CO2 will reach the oceans, where it causes damage.
We all use energy daily, so it may seem difficult to reduce or even see your energy use.
The easiest way to do this is by:
- replacing your light bulbs with LED lights
- replacing your appliances with more efficient ones
- Adjusting your thermostat or using fresh air through a window
- turning off lights when they're not being used
- turning off electronics when they're not being used (this includes TVs, computers, tablets, and phones)
- unplugging electronics when they're not being used
7. Fish Responsibly
If you love to eat fish, you can help save the ocean by fishing responsibly.
There are a few ways you can do this:
- Buy and eat only fish caught in sustainable, environmentally responsible ways. Look for labels like "sustainable" or "wild-caught" on packaging
- [Avoid buying farmed fish](https://environment.co/farm-raised-fish-vs-wild-caught/#:~:text=Cons of Farm-Raised Fish The main environmental complaints,diseases%2C including a parasite known as sea lice.)
- Only buy fish from a reputable source
- When you're out on the water, don't litter. This includes fishing lines, nets, and debris from your catch
- If you catch something too small to keep, throw it back so that it can grow to be big enough to eat
8. Respect Habitat
The ocean is a beautiful place, full of incredible creatures. However, they need our help to stay alive! The ocean is our home. It's where we live, it's where we find food, and it's where we play. Therefore, we need to treat the ocean with respect because if we don't, it will not be able to support us anymore.
The most important thing you can do is respect the ocean's habitat by not polluting it and protecting it from other people who may want to destroy it.
If you see someone polluting the ocean or just being careless with its habitat, talk to them about it! Let them know how important this is and try to help them understand what they're doing wrong.
If you want to help save the world's oceans, there are plenty of ways you can do it. One way is by volunteering. If you have time during the day, consider volunteering at an aquarium or marine science center. You can also volunteer in your community by cleaning up beaches or rivers and collecting trash. If you have children, consider spending time with them on projects to help save our oceans. You can also donate money to organizations working hard to protect our oceans.
10. Demand plastic-free alternatives; A Plastic-Free Planet
You can help save the world's ocean by demanding plastic-free alternatives. Start by asking your local grocery store to stock up on plastic-free alternatives. Learn how to skip plastic packaging entirely.
If you're going to a restaurant, ask if they have any options for you that don't come with plastic utensils or straws. If these establishments can't give you alternatives, don't support them. Go somewhere else!
It can be hard to start this journey, but once you start making changes in your own life, you'll be amazed at how much support there is. Share what works for you on social media and encourage others to do the same. The more voices we have speaking up about ocean conservation issues, the faster change will come!
When you tell businesses you want to buy their products without any plastic packaging, you are helping them recognize a big problem they can make an impact on.
By conserving water, reducing pollutants, reducing waste, shopping wisely, reducing vehicle pollution, using less energy, and fishing responsibly, you can make a difference in the health of our ocean. By demanding plastic-free alternatives, you can also avoid contributing to the problem. Recycle everything you can. If you want to do more, contact your local legislators and raise awareness with your friends on social media. You have control over how the world looks, so take steps towards making a difference now.
Protecting Our Ocean
One of the most important things we can do to protect our seas is to encourage people to be more aware of what they use daily. By teaching individuals how to cut down on waste and pollution, we can significantly impact the future of our oceans. It might take a while before we see results with these efforts. However, they are worthwhile for the invaluable service they provide to the planet.
Ultimately, the best way to start helping the ocean is to be more mindful of our daily actions.
Then, we can choose to stand up for the planet and water down our footprint in its wake. We can take these suggestions and turn them into changes that make the world friendlier for us, for the fish, wildlife, and marine life that call it home. So now it's your turn! What are you doing to help save the oceans?
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