The ocean covers more than 70% of our planet´s surface and is home to an immense diversity of life. So, I think it´s needless to say that the ocean is really, really important. We can´t live without our oceans. We need the ocean. Though, right now the ocean really needs us. The ocean is in trouble from effects of climate change, pollution, overfishing and many other issues. We are depleting our oceans and it’s time to make it stop. Of course these issues will require governments and businesses to take action but you can also make a change!
- Reduce your carbon emissions
In the last 50 years, the ocean has absorbed 90% of the globe´s extra heat. This has led to warmer waters, which has a ton of consequences. Some of these consequence include: changes where fish swim, bleaching of coral reefs, changes how marine species reproduce, speeding up the rise of sea levels and it even changes the weather on land. So, switch off the lights when you don´t need them and leave the car at home whenever you can.
- Use less plastic products
Each year 8 million tons of plastic gets dumped into the ocean. The ocean becomes polluted with plastic and this entangles and kill tens of thousands of marine animals per year. You can help to minimize this impact by skipping on single-use plastic products. Examples of this is to stop using straws, carrying a reusable water bottle, storing your food in non-disposable containers and bringing your own reusable bag when shopping. Don´t think that 1 straw or 1 plastic bag doesn´t make a difference, because if we all think like this, then that´s a lot of straws and plastic bags.
- Take care of the beach
Not just the sea or ocean but also the beach is polluted by plastic and trash. Make sure that when you visit the beach (or any other place), that you clean up after yourself and leave no trash behind. Leaving trash behind on the beach is especially very harmful as the tide can drag the trash in the sea or ocean. We just discussed in the previous point why this is so harmful, so make sure this doesn´t happen.
If you see other people leaving trash behind, then tell them so they become aware of it. If you think that´s a bit too confrontational to do, then at least pick up their trash, so the beach stays clean. Together we can make a difference!
- Don´t buy items like coral and shark teeth
I think we´ve all seen it. You visit a souvenir shop and they´re selling things like coral jewelry and shark teeth. Don´t buy these items! Coral is in danger. It´s bleaching due to the warming of the ocean. The bleaching of coral means it´s dying. Coral should be left alone and be in the ocean, where it belongs. Furthermore, coral provides shelter for a range of marine species. Besides all of this, in most countries it is also illegal to import products like these and you could get a huge fine for it.
- Only use biodegradable sunscreen
When going in the water, please only wear biodegradable sunscreen. Normal sunscreen damages the coral reefs and is harmful for marine life. Normal sunscreen is like poison to the sea and ocean. Biodegradable sunscreen, in contrast, doesn´t contain ingredients which are harmful to the coral reefs and environment. Avoid ingredients like: oxybenzone, octinoxate, butylparaben and benzylparaben. There are many more ingredients which are harmful so make sure to do a bit of research online, so you buy the right kind of sunscreen. The coral reef will thank you!
These are just small changes for your life but big ones for the planet. Remember that together we can make a difference. Let’s save this planet, together!