There’s just something about being near the ocean that soothes the soul. Whether it’s the mesmerising rise and fall of the waves, the salty sea breeze or the sheer expanse of it, there’s nothing quite like it. Plus, there’s the fact that it’s home to some of the world’s greatest creatures and most magnificent coral reefs. Not only that, but the ocean provides most of the oxygen we breathe, regulates our climate and helps cleans the water we drink. So, it’s pretty alarming to think that such an incredible part of our earth could be in danger. But unfortunately, this is the scary reality. Things like pollution, unsustainable fish farming and climate change all put our beautiful oceans at risk.
The good news is, there are plenty of things we can do as individuals to protect our blue planet. And there’s no better time to start than today—World Oceans Day. June 8 was declared World Oceans Day by the United Nations back in 2002 and ever since, people all over the world have used it as an occasion to celebrate the ocean and champion for its protection. Here are 4 things you can do on World Ocean Day and beyond to take a stand.
Ditch the plastic
According to United Nations, an alarming 8 million tonnes of plastic end up in the world’s oceans every year. If things continue going this way, it’s estimated that our oceans could contain more plastic than fish by 2050. Pretty scary stuff! One of the best things you can do to help save the oceans is to limit your use of single use plastics like straws, bottled water and supermarket bags as much as possible. The same goes for products including plastic microbeads (like many exfoliators and body scrubs), as these are ingested by sea creatures and can even up in our seafood. You can avoid these by looking out for ‘polypropylene’ or ‘polymethyl’ when shopping for personal care products.
Participating in beach clean-ups is a great way to not only help protect our oceans from pollution, but also meet new people and spend time in nature! You can find events in your local area at Cleanup Australia, Tangaroa Blue and Sea Shepherd. Or, you could always start an event of your own!
Reduce your carbon footprint
Simply cutting down your individual carbon emissions in general can help you be a better friend to marine life. Some ways you can do this include shopping locally where possible, using energy efficient appliances where possible, opting for sustainable labels and believe it or not, being more of a homebody! You can read more tips for reducing your carbon footprint here.
Be a smart seafood shopper
Yes, eating plenty of oily fish and seafood is great way to get more good fats into your det. That said, not all seafood is created equal. Fisheries around the world are collapsing because of unsustainable fishing practices. Shopping for sustainable and responsibly sourced seafood is a lot trickier than other types of meat, as you need to know the standardised name of the fish or species, the fishing technique and the area of origin. Luckily, the Sustainable Seafood Guide app makes it super easy to make informed choices.