What You Can Do to Help Save Our Oceans
The Earth’s oceans are absolutely crucial to all the life on our planet. Our oceans provide 97 percent of the world’s livable habitat, which houses over 700,000 species. They generate half of the oxygen we breathe. Our oceans are the source of jobs, food, and enjoyment for people across the world. Clearly, the oceans make a huge impact in our lives, but they are in danger. We have to save our oceans. Here is how you can help and which organizations are making a difference.
Ways to Help Save Our Oceans
The only way to make a difference and save our oceans is to work together. In order to work together, we have to make individual changes. Small changes in our daily lives will accumulate to make a major difference. This will save the thousands of marine animals from dying due to our reckless choices. Here is what you can do to save the ocean.
Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
There are so many benefits from reducing your carbon footprint. Not only does it protect our oceans but it reduces pollution in the air and ground, limits the effects of climate change, and even lowers your monthly bills. To reduce your carbon footprint, consider using public transportation, carpooling, a bike, or your own feet to travel. This reduces the number of harmful emissions in the atmosphere we are responsible for. You can also adjust your thermostat so it does not use as much energy, as well as using energy efficient appliances at home.
Carbon dioxide, which we produce in abundance when we rely on fossil fuels, makes the oceans more acidic. This harms marine wildlife and alters their habitat.
Cut Out Single-Use Plastics
This one is currently a hot topic, as it should be. Cutting out single-use plastics is a must if we want to conserve marine life and reduce plastic pollution. An estimated 12 million metric tons of plastic makes its way into our oceans every year. To put this into perspective, because it is such a large number, that is the equivalent of a truckload of plastic every minute. That is unacceptable.
Ocean animals often mistake plastic for food, which fills their stomachs and forces them to starve because their bodies cannot break it down. This happens to the smallest plankton to the largest whales. If the fish in our ocean are eating plastic, what do you think we are eating when we buy seafood? You guessed it: plastic. If we reduce the plastic we use, we can save the fish, as well as ourselves.
Only Buy Sustainable Seafood
The world’s demand for seafood is high, resulting in the depletion of certain species. Overfishing not only harms a single species but affects the other organisms in their ecosystem. When shopping or at a restaurant, avoid exploited species and look to support sustainable fisheries. Looking for the words “line caught,” “diver caught,” or “sustainably caught” will help you to know which fish to choose. This will help the ecosystems in the ocean to recover.
Use Less Fertilizer
Using too much fertilizer can damage your garden, and it can also damage the oceans. Excess fertilizer eventually makes it into our oceans. This creates dead zones, one of which appears in the Gulf of Mexico in the spring and summer and is the size of New Jersey. A dead zone is an area that has extremely low oxygen levels in the water, and just like people, fish need oxygen to survive. They have to flee dead zones or else they will die. By reducing the amount of fertilizer you use, you can save our oceans.
Avoid Products That Exploit Marine Animals
Not only should you avoid exploited seafood, but you should also avoid any other product that exploits marine life. This includes jewelry made from coral, tortoiseshell, and shark. If we avoid buying these products, it reduces the demand for the products, which means that we will save marine life. This is a simple and easy way to know that you are helping in the effort to save our oceans.
Take Care of Your Local Beaches
Going to the beach should come with the same basic etiquette as going to a friend’s home for a party: clean up after yourself. You are there to have fun—and there is no harm in that—and a littered beach can easily spoil the moment. When you go to the beach, make sure you properly dispose of your garbage so the ocean does not carry it away. You should also try not to disturb the wildlife and remove them or part of their habitat. Another way to help stop pollution in the ocean is to participate in a local cleanup project.
Image Source: Pixabay
Take the Time to Educate Yourself
In order to really help save our oceans, you have to educate yourself. You need to know why ocean pollution, plastic pollution, conserving marine biodiversity, and climate change are important. We are here to provide the information for you, but you need to actively search it out so you are not blindly following or just contributing to a trend. Our oceans are important and you should know why it is. The internet has countless resources to help you.
Be an Advocate for Change in Your Community
It is not enough to educate yourself to save our oceans, but you need to spread awareness to others as well. You can share information with your friends and invite them to participate in activities with you. You should also exercise your right to vote and support those who recognize the importance of our oceans and marine animals. After election day, you should also continue to be active in your community and bring awareness to your city and state politicians.
Support Organizations That Protect Our Oceans
Another way to save our oceans is to support organizations that are doing all they can to make that goal a reality. They push for change and supporting them, whether by donating money or your time, helps to show the world that we are serious. Below are several organizations whose goal is to conserve marine life and save our oceans.
Oceana has been an advocate for ocean conservation since it began in 2001. They focus on fishery management, clean energy, and more. It is one of the largest international advocacy organizations, bringing ocean advocates together from all around the world.
Parley for the Oceans
Parley for the Oceans focuses on changing how we use plastic by bringing together artists, musicians, designers, and writers. They created what they call the A.I.R. strategy, which includes avoiding plastic usage, intercepting plastic waste, and redesigning the plastic economy. They strive to reduce plastic usage and discover materials that can replace plastic in the future. You may have heard about their collaboration with Adidas, who created shoes made almost entirely from plastic found in the ocean.
This organization has been a part of efforts in 72 countries, making them extremely influential. Their efforts have a broad spectrum, spanning from organizing cleanups to education. One of the things they teach people is the importance of a clean ocean so they can understand and have a desire to help. They have several ways to get involved that anyone can join.
Natural Resources Defense Council
Founded in 1970, the Natural Resources Defense Council originally comprised of attorneys and law students who want to create a clean Earth and clean communities. Now, they are joined with advocates from other backgrounds in their fight to conserve Earth’s natural resources and its oceans. Their ocean program focuses on reducing overfishing and protecting important marine areas.
Ocean Conservancy has been around for decades, constantly searching for long-term solutions for healthy oceans and wildlife. They strive to combat ocean acidification, support sustainable fisheries, and restore the Gulf of Mexico. For the past 30 years, they have hosted the International Coastal Cleanup, which brings together millions of people to clean up their local beaches.
View a longer and more detailed list of organizations that support saving our oceans here.
There are so many ways that you can help save our oceans, many of which involve small changes in your day to day life. If we reduce our carbon footprint, limit plastics, avoid products that exploit marine life, and spread awareness we can make a difference. The ocean is vital to our existence, and we should treat it that way.
Image Source: Pixabay