Humans have a direct impact on the ocean’s wellbeing. Regardless of where you live on this planet, every person can help preserve the ocean and its inhabitants. Here are seven easy tips on how you can protect and restore the ocean.
Understand the Ocean
The first step to making a difference is to understand how the ocean thrives in a natural state. It’s important to understand how our actions negatively impact the ocean beyond litter and pollution. This one requires a bit of research on your part—more than we have time for here—so if once you have a solid knowledge base, be sure to share your findings with your friends and family to promote further awareness.
Reduce Your Water Usage
The less water we use the better it is for our planet and ocean. When showering, turn the water on low when you are soaping yourself or take a bath instead. Be sure to turn off the water while you are brushing your teeth. Save water with a commercial car wash instead of washing your car at home. Washing your car at home uses 60% more water than a car wash and the detergent runoff ends up untreated in our fresh and salt-water sources.
Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
Landlocked homes can help the environment by reducing their electricity and automobile use. Before you leave for the day, unplug devices that waste energy throughout the day. Even if the device is not turned on it still uses energy from the electrical sockets. When possible, try to walk, bike, or take public transit to reduce your carbon footprint.
Dispose of Party Goods Properly
Are you hosting an upcoming birthday or anniversary party? You can help the ocean by not releasing balloons into the air. Streamers, strings and balloons found in the ocean can be mistaken for food as commonly seen with turtles that find themselves in a tangled mess. It’s common for seabirds and marine life to also eat or get tangled in six-pack soda can rings. Before throwing them out, cut each ring so wildlife can free itself.
Watch What You Eat
Scientists believe that 90% of large predatory fish have disappeared due to heavy fishing. The best way to preserve the ocean is to reduce your seafood consumption. Sadly, there aren’t more fish in the sea in terms of limitless seafood dinners. If you do consume seafood, try to choose sustainable or locally caught fish.
Snorkeling and scuba diving are two popular aquatic activities. When you recreate in deeper waters, do not touch, grab, break or remove anything from the ocean. It may seem fun to “play” with a turtle, but the oils from our hands and sunscreen could irritate their skin.
Dispose of Fishing Lines Properly
Monofilament fishing line takes 600 years to degrade. Fishing lines are one of the deadliest pollutants in the ocean as creatures of all sizes get tangled. Act responsibly and do not leave lines on the beach, pier, or boat.
Use Cloth Shopping Bags
Plastic bags cause the death of over 100,000 marine animals every year since these creatures mistake the bags as food. Dispose of the bags in the recycle bin or reuse them as garbage bags. When possible, use a cloth bag. These bags are universal for all types of shopping and one bag can last years. It’s amazing how one cloth bag can save thousands of plastic bags.