How to help save the ocean: 5 simple steps to try everyday
What You Can Do To Help The Ocean
Thinking about how to help the ocean can seem overwhelming and daunting so we wanted to compile a list of easy things to try to begin implementing everyday. Begin by starting with one or two of the ideas below, and over time adding more and more simple steps into your day.
Start swapping out single-use products with reusable everyday items
Millions of pounds of trash flow into the ocean each year from land based sources. By switching to reusable items, we can reduce the amount of garbage we throw away each day. Single-use items consume a large amount of natural resources to only be used once and thrown out. By shifting to a mindset of reuse over single-use, we can reduce the amount of garbage we generate each day and save the natural resources it takes to create each single-use item.
Simple items to try to reuse or seek reusable alternatives for:
A. Reusable water bottle - Say no to plastic water bottles and opt to carry a reusable water bottle out and about so you’re not tempted by the convenience of bottled water. The majority of restaurants and coffee shops will refill your water bottle for you if there’s not a drinking fountain close by.
B. Reusable coffee cup - A fun strategy is to get a cute reusable coffee cup that would still bring joy when drinking coffee on the go. The vast majority of coffee shops accept reusable coffee cups as an alternative for their plastic or paper to go cups, and some will even give you a small discount off your purchase as a thank you for going reusable!
C. Reusable bags - Keep reusable bags in your car so you can quickly grab them whenever you go grocery shopping. This will help increase the chances that you remember to use them. If you have plastic shopping bags, use them as long as possible before getting rid of them and purchasing reusable alternatives.
D. Tupperware or glass containers for food storage - Phase ziplock bags and plastic wrap out of the kitchen by utilizing reusable storage containers. If you really miss plastic wrap try out beeswax wraps as an alternative.
Reusable to-go utensils - Grab a set of reusable alternatives or take silverware from home to avoid having to use plastic utensils when getting take - out.
Switching to reusable cutlery and cups is a a great way to cut back on single-use plastic
Switch to sunscreen that is reef safe
Sunscreen can contain harmful chemicals that lead to coral bleaching when sunscreen washes off into the ocean when swimming. It is critically important to coral reefs to switch to a reef safe sunscreen that does not contain the following chemicals
Oxybenzone, octinoxate, Butylparaben, avobenzone, homosalate, octisalate, octocrylene, Para-aminobenzoic acid -PABA
Choose reef safe sunscreens featuring mineral based non-nano zinc oxide. Non-nano zinc oxide sunscreens are one of the safest alternatives for ocean reefs.
One of our favorite brands of reef safe sunscreen is All Good Brand. They are a California based company that makes organic, cruelty-free, non-toxic, and reef safe skin care products. They are inspired by wilderness and wellness and are committed to protecting the oceans.
Reduce your carbon footprint
Carbon is not only a powerful contributor to climate change, it also leads ocean acidification. The ocean absorbs roughly 30% of the carbon emitted by the burning of fossil fuels leading to changes in the pH balance. More acidity negatively impacts shellfish and coral reefs.
A. Hang dry clothes - Not only will this help your clothes last longer and lower your electricity bill, it will also decrease your carbon footprint.
B. Eat less meat, give Meatless Monday’s a try - Eating less meat and cutting back on animal products is one of the easiest ways to positively contribute to the health of the planet!
C. Carpool or use public transportation - The earth, and your budget, will thank you.
D. Unplug appliances when they’re not in use - This method will help save an estimated 5-10% a year on electricity costs.
Buy sustainable seafood
By making sure to buy only sustainable seafood, it ensures the purchase isn’t contributing to overfishing and the chances of by catch are limited. There are many resources to help track where seafood is coming from. Our favorite is Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch app, it’s free to download through the app store and will help make the sustainable seafood choice much easier.
Help the ocean by spreading awareness
A. Encourage friends and family to give reusable items a try.
B. Share posts about the health of the ocean on social media platforms.
C. Write to your local representatives about an initiative in your community that could help the ocean - plastic bag bans, action on climate change, and increased access to public transportation are just a few ideas
Remember to not take yourself too seriously, have fun, and that its ok to try implementing just one of these ideas to start with and building up over time
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