World Oceans Day: Eight Ways You Can Help

World Oceans Day: Eight Ways You Can Help

more than 70 per cent of Earth’s surface and supplying
more than half the oxygen we breathe, the deep blue is vital to human
life. It’s a source of food, jobs and leisure activities, and home
to some 700,000 species (that we know of). As “climate change”
becomes “climate crisis”, these are a few things you can do to help
protect our oceans.

Buy sustainable seafood

Unsustainable fishing practices are destroying habitats and
endangering many different species in our oceans. While eating less
seafood can help – don’t worry, you can get some omega 3s from
plants – where you do buy fish, look out for labels that prove it
was sourced sustainably. The MSC (Marine Stewardship Council)
“ecolabel” is a good indicator as are terms such as “line-caught”
or “sustainably harvested. In restaurants, make a habit of asking
whether the fish served is ethically sourced.

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Reduce your carbon footprint

Even small lifestyle changes can have a positive impact on the
. Intensive research has proved that the actions you
take every day can affect water levels, temperatures and the
ocean’s pH. Be mindful of switching off lights, reach for a jumper
instead of the heating, recycle, walk where possible or take public
transport. Those willing and able to make bigger lifestyle changes can opt for
renewable energy sources, eat less red meat or try growing food –
you may be surprised what can be cultivated on a patio or

Use less plastic

Every year up to 12 million metric tons of plastic ends up in
our oceans, with debris destroying habitats and harming sea
creatures. Microplastics from shopping bags, clothing and kitchen
and bathroom products – even toothpaste – are among the most
damaging to marine life. Ditch disposables and purchase reusable
bags, water bottles, tupperware and coffee cups. Read the
ingredients of cosmetic products before buying them and when you do
use plastic, remember to recycle.

Do a beach clean

Everyone loves a day at the beach, but whether you’re
sunbathing, going on a walk or having a picnic, please clean up
after yourself. The #2MinuteBeachClean movement encourages us to
take a little time to pick up litter on the beachfront (or indeed
any public area). Other community projects and events include
Project AWARE’s Dive Against Debris,
which organises collaborative beach cleans and even dives to reduce
pollution and litter.

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Read cosmetic labels

As well as many cosmetic products being sold in plastic
packaging and containing plastic within them, many items and
products also contain other ingredients that have either exploited
marine wildlife or are harmful to oceans. In particular the
microparticles found in sun cream can have damaging effects on
coral and other sea fauna. Before you purchase, research cosmetic items to
ensure they’re ocean friendly, and avoid buying any accessories
made from marine life, such as coral jewellery, shark teeth or
tortoiseshell hair accessories.

Support ocean conservation organisations

Many organisations work tirelessly to protect our oceans.
Hosting peaceful protests, beach cleans and regular volunteer
meetings, these institutions are aiming to create a better future
for ours oceans and the wildlife living within them. Oceana,
the largest international organisation focussed on ocean
conservation, has more than 550,000 members from 200 countries
across the globe. Check out its website to join the community and
fight for the future of ocean conservation.

Swim, sail and snorkel responsibly

Whether you’re just going for a quick snorkel to see the
colourful fish, or living the high life as you sail round coasts on
a yacht, be sure to read up on the most sustainable options
available. Keep your distance from any sea creatures, make sure you
don’t throw anything overboard, and learn about the most
eco-friendly options to enjoy sea activities responsibly.

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Get involved politically

While it is immensely important to learn about the small changes
you can make to positively impact the environment, there is
unfortunately a limit on how much one person can do. Educate
yourself on the environmental stance and policies of your local
politicians so that you can vote responsibly or, better yet,
contact them to highlight specific areas of concern.