The Oceans cover 70% of our planet’s surface and are essential to the well-being of all life on Earth. It contains 97% of all the water in the world and produces 50% of the world’s oxygen resources. To save ourselves we must save the planet, which means that we have to save the ocean.
Not only do they provide the air we breathe but are also responsible for climate regulation, economic benefits, food, and medical resources, and is home to a huge diversity of wildlife. This makes it a priority in environmental restoration and conservation projects.
The world’s oceans are being majorly threatened by human impact and interference. Through pollution, over-fishing, dredging, coastal constructions, tourism, and above all climate change.
Due to these activities, marine ecosystems are crashing and species populations are declining around the world. For our planet to thrive and return to a healthy state we must help by restoring and protecting the oceans. Here are 10 differences you can make in your life to be a part of the solution and save the ocean.
Day to Day Life Changes to Save the Ocean
There are many differences you can make in your daily life to help reduce your environmental impact and save the ocean. Here are some ways you can reduce your footprint with some sustainable alternatives to help you along the way.
1. Reduce, Re-use, Recycle
Protecting the oceans starts with reducing pollution. Plastic pollution is a major threat to our oceans, especially with single-use plastics.
So the first thing you can do is eliminate all single-use plastics in your life. These are anything from straws to plastic bags. Because as a result of using them, there are now estimated over 5 trillion pieces of plastic in the oceans.
Plastics are having drastic effects on marine ecosystems and marine life, through ingestion, suffocation, entanglement, and drowning. A drastic number of species are being impacted by plastic pollution, affecting 84% of Sea Turtle Species and 43% of Marine Mammal Species.
This is not only single-use plastics, as the majority of marine life is affected by discarded fishing gear, ghost nets, and most of all micro-plastics. It has now been discovered that 48% of deep-sea creatures, up to 2000 meters depth contain some form of plastic in their system.
These numbers are devastating and scientists say that there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish by weight by 2050. But this can change with your help!
Many countries have now put bans on plastic bags or a tax to reduce the amount used and thrown away. Try to re-use any single-use plastics where you can and if possible stop using them altogether.
When buying products it will state on the side of the packaging whether it is recyclable or not. Some plastic items are now recyclable, such as plastic bottles, containers, certain plastic bags.
Make sure to clean the plastic items you are going to recycle as if not clean they may be discarded by the recycling unit.
Convert to biodegradable plastics where you can. When walking down the beach or out in nature, pick up some trash you see along the way, it won’t hurt you but you could end up saving a life that day.
Reduce your plastic consumption, Re-use it where you can, and Recycle the products that you use to help keep our seas plastic-free.
2. Convert to Sustainable Products
A huge step forward to an eco-friendly future is through the development of sustainable products. Converting to these products will massively reduce your impact on the planet and help with protecting the oceans.
Sustainable products are re-usable and are often ethically sourced made with eco-friendly materials. Not only will these products make a positive change to the environment but they will also benefit your lifestyle.
There are many sustainable substitutes for the products you use in your day to day life, you just need to search for them. Buying goods from sustainable companies will give you the pleasure of contributing to global environmental protection.
As plastic straws are a major issue in marine pollution, you can substitute them for metal straws that you buy in packs and take out with you. Purchase a re-usable bag such as a tote bag or even just use paper bags.
Make sure to verify the environmental impact of the brands from which you buy your products. Certain companies are now converting to sustainable manufacturing and producing organic resources.
Check out our article on sustainable clothing brands, whose clothing companies are all ethical and organic. Many companies in the sustainable business donate part of their income towards environmental charities or organize educational events about protecting the oceans and the planet.
Try it out and Go Green, reduce your carbon footprint where you can and save the ocean!
3. Sustainable Seafood
One of the biggest threats to our oceans is over-fishing. If you are a sea-food lover or only eat it occasionally it is important for you to know if your fish is sustainably sourced. There are many impacts from over-fishing to marine ecosystems that are damaging fish populations.
The problem is that fishing industries are catching marine species faster than stocks are able to replenish. Therefore causing major depletion’s in fish stocks around the globe.
By-catch is closely related to over-fishing, as fishing vessels and equipment aren’t specific to certain marine life. As a result, huge amounts of by-catch are caught daily. This causes the deaths of billions of animals for no reason.
It is important that these practices improve their management and reduce their environmental impact on the oceans. Illegal fishing is a subsequent source of this destruction, primarily catching high value, endangered, or rare species.
Sharks, Skates, Rays, and Marine Mammals are key victims of this practice. Unfortunately, around 100 million sharks are caught and killed annually through fishing and by-catch.
There are multiple types of fishing, however many have devastating impacts on marine life. For example, Tuna fisheries cause substantial amounts of Shark by-catch through pelagic long-lining. This is an important source for the decline in Blue Shark populations in the Atlantic.
To verify that your fish is sustainably sourced you can check the can or package for the MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) logo. This assures that the fishery meets various sustainability criteria. Reduce your sea-food consumption and buy from local fishmongers when you can.
To ensure that the sea-food you purchase is sustainably sourced you can check it on the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch app or the Good Fish Guide. Eat small fish, wild fish, local fish, and farmed fish, this is the way forwards to protecting marine wildlife and save the ocean.
4. Reduce Water Usage to Save the Ocean
Water conservation is important, but you may wonder why is it necessary considering there is so much of it? Well you must remember that 70% of the planet’s water resources are saltwater, which is not suitable to be consumed.
Only 0.5% of the water on our planet is actually drinkable. There are multiple consequences that result from water wastage, and here are the main issues.
Water is an energy resource that is finite and costly. Not only will conserving water save money on your energy bill but also help save the ocean and environment. The majority of large appliances in your home use a large amount of water when you use them.
For instance, showers, dishwashers, washing machines, and toilets use gallons of water each time they are used. Consider changing to high-efficiency appliances, make sure to reduce the time you spend in the shower, and install devices to reduce water wastage.
Our excessive usage of water has many negative impacts, such as polluting nearby water systems. It also causing drought and water shortages to certain communities, which limits people’s resources and can contribute towards diseases, illnesses, and starvation.
1/3rd of the worlds population living in areas with extreme water shortage. Therefore, it is important that those privileged enough to have sufficient water resources reduce their usage.
Not only is this devastating to humans but also to animals. Unfortunately, a high amount of pollution comes from treating and distributing water.
As a result, this overloads sewer systems and is expelling excessive amounts of greenhouse gases. Water is used in household homes, community maintenance, farming, industries, transport, and many other human activities. As it is such a vital resource, we must reduce our usage where we can to save the ocean.
5. Supporting Marine Charities & Organisations that are Fighting to Save the Ocean
If you want to give that little bit extra or even volunteer to make the world a better place and save the ocean then this should help you out. The most effective way to contribute is by donating money and financially supporting organizations.
The devastation to our oceans is only getting worse, but hopefully, there is still time for this to change. Protecting the oceans starts with you.
Many of the best non-profit marine charities and organisations focus on restoring ecosystems, educating the public, and developing awareness projects.
There are various marine charities that focus their efforts on different conservation priorities, this can be anything from coral reef restoration to marine mammal population protection, to changing policies and regulations for marine wildlife to be more bio-diverse.
Here are some of the top ocean charities for you to donate to or even become a volunteer:
- The Ocean Conservancy, a charity working towards preserving the ocean’s ecosystems and marine habitats. They are fighting to save the ocean and need your help.
- Project Aware, a global force of scuba divers working to protect marine environments taking action to reduce water pollution and collecting data reporting on marine debris.
- Mission Blue. Founded by the one and only Sylvia Earl, the famous American oceanographer fighting to save the ocean and increase marine protected areas.
- Surfers Against Sewage, inspire and empower communities to protect the beaches, oceans, and wildlife.
- Coral Reef Alliance, an organization on a mission to save coral reefs around the world, allowing them to recover, restore, and thrive.
- Sea Shepard Conservation Society, an organization on the front line of defense for marine wildlife. Taking action to confront and expose illegal practices on the oceans.
These are some of the many non-profit marine conservation charities and organizations for you to financially support or volunteer for. They need all the help they can get and don’t feel intimidated to volunteer, you will be doing an incredible and selfless act.
Not only will you be making yourself happier, but you will also be helping communities and ecosystems around the world.
6. Everyone is a Part of the Problem but also the Solution
As we all know, climate change is a major crisis impacting environments and communities around the globe. Global warming is driven by human activity, and is not a natural cycle.
Burning fossil fuels is the primary cause of global warming. These are released into the atmosphere through various human activities, from cars to power plants, to large industries, to deforestation.
As a result, the seas are warming causing ice caps to melt, rising sea levels, and causing ocean acidification.
Global warming is impacting marine life and ecosystems, in various ways. Changes in water temperature forces species to migrate to waters with more suitable conditions for feeding and reproducing, subsequently, straining growth and development.
There are many different solutions to this issue, however, it all starts with you. Reduce the amount of meat and dairy you consume, reduce your carbon emissions, reduce water usage, eat sustainably, and most importantly use your voice. Even if you get one person to make positive changes to their lifestyle, this is still a step forward in the right direction.
No matter your age, if you have a voice you must speak up about protecting our planet and save the ocean. As a species we are destroying our beautiful planet Earth, and it is up to us to save it.
Speak to friends, family or even to your local city council. These are important issues, and action must be taken. If not by our governments then by the people who actually care.
It is important that you stay informed about current global situations and marine conservation issues. Educate yourself and others around you on the major impacts affecting marine wildlife, environments, and countries.
Get engaged politically where you can, vote for representatives that prioritize policies for environmental protection. These are all changes you can do that could make a huge difference and save the oceans.
Make a Difference to Save the Ocean
We are all highly dependant on the oceans for resources, as they play an essential role in the existence and survival of humankind. However, the oceans are being negatively impacted on a daily basis, causing devastation to many species and ecosystems.
By altering temperatures, wind patterns, sea levels and carbonate chemistry, species interactions and migration patterns are being majorly disrupted. As a result, trophic structures and ecosystem dynamics could be modified to a state of no return.
We are all responsible for these issues at a different level. The majority of people adore going to the seaside for a relaxing getaway, but how will that happen if the beaches and oceans we love are totally destroyed. It’s not too late to change, get out there, make a difference and help save the ocean. We’ve got this!