The actions of humans throughout the past, as well as today, have had a significant impact on the ocean. Destruction is all too common, plastics are found in the water and can be harmful to wildlife, and there are many other issues that require immediate attention. Though one person can’t do everything on their own, they are able to make small changes in their life that can help preserve the ocean, ensuring that it’s still there and still supporting life far into the future.
Reduce energy usage
Non-renewable energy use creates tons of pollution each day. Though it might not seem like a big deal to cool down the house a little more or leaving the lights on at night, the pollution created through energy use has far-reaching impacts, from wildlife habitat destruction to interruptions in polar bear hibernation schedules. Conserving energy can help reduce the amount of pollution created, helping decrease the amount of damage done throughout the world, including in the ocean.
Avoid buying certain products
Products available today may use materials directly from the ocean. Coral jewelry is easy to find, but it is not sustainable, and coral is killed to make the jewelry. Some types of make-up include squalene, which is made from shark liver oils. Fish can be a great source of nutrients, but they may not be caught sustainably, which can contribute to declining populations of edible fish. By researching products and ingredients, it’s possible to avoid buying anything that contributes to the destruction of habitats in the ocean or the killing of sea creatures.
Participate or create beach clean-ups
Beaches often have a significant amount of trash on them, whether it’s tiny pieces of trash left behind by tourists or things that have washed up on the shore. Any waste that’s on or near the beach can negatively affect the ocean. The most common example is sea turtles eating plastic bags because they think it’s a jellyfish. By cleaning up the beach, whether it’s an organized beach clean-up or just something to do as a family on a day off, it’s possible to keep at least some of the waste out of the ocean, where it can cause harm.
Reduce plastic use
Plastics are everywhere today, so it can be hard to avoid them. From disposable cups to take-out containers or packaging for products, there is plenty of plastic. Unfortunately, a lot of it is not recyclable or isn’t recycled after use, so it adds to the waste, which can end up in the ocean. By reducing plastic use and using reusable products as much as possible, less waste will end up in the ocean, causing harm to everything that lives there.
Support conservation efforts
Supporting conservation efforts can include donating to the cause, volunteering time to help the organization, or spreading the word about what the organization is trying to do. There are many different conservation organizations aimed at protecting the ocean, so it is simply a matter of looking into the different choices and ways to help. Everyone has the ability to help these organizations, even if it’s only donating a small amount of money or volunteering for a few hours once or twice a year.
With travel increasing for the summer, now’s the time to start thinking about where to go and how to do it. When planning any vacation, take the time to look into more sustainable options. Opting for public transport, choosing locations known for sustainability, and checking into all of the details can help make the vacation a fantastic one yet ensure it’s not going to end up causing harm to the local environment. When visiting areas like the beach, learn what products to avoid, like sunscreen that isn’t ocean-safe, and opt for reusable items when possible to travel more sustainably.
There is an opportunity today to help save the ocean, but changes need to be made now. One person can’t do it all, but they can help, and the more people that help, the better it is for the ocean and all of the life it supports. If you’d like to help save the ocean but aren’t sure where to start, try the different ideas on this list. All of them are small changes you can make today that will help benefit the ocean for tomorrow.
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