- 10 Things You Can Do to Save the Ocean
Reduce Your Plastic Use:
50-80% of marine debris is plastic. It breaks down into smaller pieces, but never goes away. The ocean's five major gyres, giant swirling currents, often trap this debris, turning the ocean into a toxic plastic soup. Marine animals often mistake it for food and can end up choking or starving to death. It also entangles and injures them, making it difficult to swim or fly, and could lead to drowning. Reduce plastic pollution by refusing single-use plastics and using reusable bags, cups, and tableware instead. You can make a difference by using less plastic and recycling the plastic you do use.
Mind Your Carbon Footprint and Reduce Energy Consumption:
Reduce the effects of climate change on the ocean by leaving the car at home when you can and being conscious of your energy use at home and work. A few things you can do to get started today: Switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs, take the stairs, and bundle up or use a fan to avoid oversetting your thermostat.
Eat Sustainable Seafood:
Overfishing is a global problem, and many common fishing and farming methods result in major habitat damage or large amounts of bycatch – other species are caught unintentionally and are often thrown back dead. Use a seafood guide when ordering or purchasing to help make sustainable (and delicious!) seafood choices. Go to Monterey Bay Seafood Watch for information while dining in restaurants, and Marine Stewardship Council while in stores.
Help Take Care of the Beach:
Whether you enjoy diving, surfing, or relaxing on the beach, always clean up after yourself. Explore and appreciate the ocean without interfering with wildlife or removing rocks and coral. Go even further by encouraging others to respect the marine environment or by participating in local beach cleanups.
Use Fewer Chemicals in Garden and Home Products:
Chemicals such as pesticides and household cleaners can find their way into water sources and eventually into the sea, moving through the food chain and causing animals to get sick. Purchase organic when possible and limit chemicals in personal use. Sweep your driveway instead of watering it; this will eliminate oil and other residue from flowing into storm drains and straight into the ocean. Reduce toxic household products. Click here to find out more ways to replace toxic cleaners with more environmentally (and child) friendly ones.
Travel the Ocean Responsibly:
Practice responsible boating, kayaking, and other recreational activities on the water. Never throw anything overboard and be aware of marine life in the waters around you. If you're set on taking a cruise for your next vacation, do some research to find the most eco-friendly option.
Support Organizations Working to Protect the Ocean:
Many institutes and organizations are fighting to protect ocean habitats and marine wildlife. Find a national organization and consider giving financial support or volunteering for hands-on work or advocacy. If you live near the coast, join up with a local branch or group and get involved in projects close to home.
Don't Purchase Items That Exploit Marine Life:
Certain products contribute to the harming of fragile coral reefs and marine populations. Avoid purchasing items such as coral jewellery, tortoiseshell hair accessories (made from hawksbill turtles), and shark products.
Educate Yourself About Oceans and Marine Life:
All life on Earth is connected to the ocean and its inhabitants. The more you learn about the issues facing this vital system, the more you'll want to help ensure its health—then share that knowledge to educate and inspire others.
Tell People About Ocean Conservation and Spread the Word!
One person can make a difference but think how much greater an impact you'll have if you recruit your friends to the cause! Tell your friends about the issues and use social media to raise awareness.