Do you feel passionate about oceans and nature, but never quite know how to make a difference in their conservation efforts? Do you live inland and don’t think your actions could affect the coast and the oceans? If you answered ‘yes’ to either of these questions, read on for just a few ways you can help save the oceans even if you live far away from the coast.
Realize that you DO make a difference.
You DO make a difference, this is the most important thing to always keep in mind. Just by sharing a fact you learned about your favorite marine animal and the ecosystem it lives in and showing people how all their small decisions can impact the environment, you make a big difference. Lead by example and never stop teaching those around you. Keep this in mind for each of the following points.
Recycle and reuse your plastic
Bottle lids and plastic bottles make up the second and third most common type of trash found on beaches. Even if you don’t live near a beach or have never seen a beach, you can make a difference and help keep our shore clean of debris like bottles that can cause serious harm to birds and other marine life.
Recycle plastic bags, wrappers, food containers, plastic cutlery and cups and try to reuse your plastic bottles as often as possible, before recycling those too. This not only reduces the chances of plastics ending up on the coasts through rivers and streams, but it also reduces our demand for petroleum products which in can help minimize global warming and ocean acidification.
Reduce your carbon Footprint
Lots of small changes to your lifestyle can make a big impact in reducing your carbon footprint and reducing the effects of climate change. For example:
- Turn off lights
- Avoid setting a thermostat as late into the season as possible
- Switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs or even LEDs
- Use the stairs
- Bike to work or school
- Reuse your water bottles to avoid buying new ones
Making any or all of the above mentioned changes can help reduce global warming and ocean acidification. Both of these are main drivers of coral bleaching, which can have devastating impacts on marine ecosystems.
Buy sustainably harvested seafood
When buying your weekly nutritious dose of fish, make sure it has been harvested sustainably. If you can’t tell right away, just ask the vendor or waiter where the fish comes from and under what fishing conditions it was harvested, and don’t be afraid to ask loud enough that people around you can hear you too.
Download the seafood watch app or go to www.seafoodwatch.org and search for the fish you’re about to eat. Seafood watch grades a huge variety of fish and their specific fishery on the level of their sustainability.
Support or volunteer at environmental organizations
Find out what environmental organizations are based out of your community and what they do. Then support them, volunteer for them and advertise their causes to friends and family. Any support you can give them even if it’s just spreading information about their cause to the people around you, you will be helping them out tremendously.
Photo: Marshall Islands World Oceans Day Committee
Plan your own World Oceans Day celebration
Start talking about World Oceans Day in your community, sign up to do an event and encourage others to join your event or start their own. You still have time before the event, so be creative about it. Think about making holding it outdoors, maybe dedicate it to your favorite marine animal or challenge yourself and your friends to reach a conservation or clean up goal within your neighborhood.
Don’t forget to encourage more people to get involved and maybe even link up with other local events. But most importantly, make it a fun day for your whole family and community.