10 Ways you Can Save the Ocean
Did you know that the ocean is the lifeblood of our planet—and by extension, humans? Whether you live next to a beach or deep in a landlocked region, oceans play a vital role in your life. According to scientific data, here are a few reasons why you should make a conscious decision to safeguard the future of the ocean:
- More than 50% of the oxygen in the air we breath is produced by phytoplankton. These tiny plant-like organisms in the ocean also pull up to 10 gigatons of Carbon Dioxide from the atmosphere.
- The ocean economy supports the livelihood of over 3 billion people.
- Oceans play a crucial in regulating the climate—including absorbing heat from the sun.
- Around 16% of the global animal protein consumption comes from the sea—and this is excluding the range of sea plants and edible algae.
The urgency is as clear as day! But where do you start? How can an individual promote change on a global scale? Well, it’s the small steps forward that bring about the big change.
"None of us, including me, ever do great things. But we can all do small things, with great love, and together we can do something wonderful."
– Mother Teresa
Here are some steps you can take to contribute to the greater good – i.e., save the ocean:
- Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
Climate change and greenhouses gases such as carbon dioxide are damaging to the ecosystems of the ocean—including corals. For this reason, you need to be conscious of your everyday energy usage.
A few changes you can make at home and at work include: turning off lights when they’re not in use, using public transportation, and finding alternatives to the thermostat such as bundling up.
- Learn More About the Oceans
The more you know about the ocean; the better you understand the need to protect it and the best way to do so. It inspires you to see the greater picture and what is at stake if you don’t act immediately.
Consider occasionally taking a few minutes of your time to read some articles/books (*such as this), watch documentaries, visit museums/exhibition, or get outside to explore the oceans.
- Say NO to Single-Use Plastic Products
Plastics—especially single-use products—are one of the most devastating ocean pollutants. They choke, entangle, and starve thousands of marine animals annually. The ocean debris also destroys animal habitats and tarnish the natural beauty of our oceans/beaches.
Limit impact by using reusable containers, shopping bags, reusable water bottles, or biodegradable products.
- Promote Legislative Changes
You can play a major role in saving the ocean by making the informed decision of electing public officials who support ocean-friendly policies. Also, don’t be shy to contact your lawmakers and government representatives—with the aim of helping them see the severity of the crises facing our oceans.
- Eat Sustainably
Global fisheries are now overexploited and on the verge of collapse. The rapid decrease in fish populations is linked to unsustainable fishing practices and high global demand.
You can promote the recovery of fisheries by eating sustainably sourced seafood. Look for labels that show your seafood was sourced from sustainably-managed farms and fisheries.
- Influence Change in Your Social Circle
Let others know what is going on with our oceans and the threat it poses to future generations. Speak up about your concerns and support stores and restaurants that sell sustainably-sourced seafood.
The more people joining the conversation, the greater the impact we can have on safeguarding the ocean and our planet.
- Don’t Disrupt Sea Life
Enjoying the immaculate beauty of the ocean is great—and even highly recommended. But you need to be conscious about how you interact with marine life and sea habitats. Don’t bother their nesting grounds, be careful not to trample their home, don’t tamper with coral reefs, and avoid feeding marine animals with potentially harmful foods.
- Support Organizations Fighting for Save the Ocean
Find a local, national, or international organization that is dedicated to protecting the world’s oceans and help their noble course in some way. This may include volunteering, advocacy, or financial support. Patronizing such organizations helps boost their reach—one step at a time.
- Avoid Products that Directly Threaten Ecosystems
Fight against products that directly harm important ecosystems and species. This includes souvenir shells of threatened species, jewellery sourced unsustainably from sea turtle shells or coral, and the use of cosmetics containing shark squalene (an oil mostly harvested from the Tiger shark’s liver).
- NEVER Leave Trash Behind!
Whether you are surfing, sunbathing on the beach, snorkelling, or taking a refreshing dip in the serene ocean waters, clean up after yourself—and encourage others to do the same. Collect any trash, litter, or debris on the beach and dispose of it correctly.
Don’t be part of the problem—be the solution!