Over-fishing to keep up with food demand has caused significant damage to species. A growing population and globalisation has caused coastline damage, heavy traffic in the ocean and marine pollution (including damage from oil & gas). Global Warming from a rise in greenhouse gases has caused the ocean to rise and warm, causing habitats to die under stress.
It can be quite overwhelming thinking of how important the ocean is and how much we’ve destroyed it. There is, however, action we can take on behalf of the ocean, to help counterbalance our damage.
Image: denise hoffmeister
1. Break off your love affair with plastic
It’s no secret that our obsession with plastic damages the ocean. Plastic bags end up in the stomach of whales and suffocate turtles. Plastic doesn’t break down easily and it’s predicted by the year 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. This is not great news for us since we end up eating the fish with plastic. Our clothes are also a huge issue for the ocean, synthetic clothing shed microfibers (tiny pieces of fiber) and end up filtering into the ocean. Our clothes are literally poisoning the oceans and our food supply.
- Use less plastic – reusable bags, cups, containers + no packaging
- Wash your clothes as little as possible
- Avoid microbeads in cosmetics
- Attend a beach clean up such as Seaside Scavenge
- Dispose of waste correctly
- Buy less, waste less
2. Reduce your carbon footprint
It can be hard to even know where to begin to reduce your carbon footprint and what makes the biggest impact. Here are some ideas:
- Fly direct when possible as taking off and landing uses the most fuel
- Meat free Mondays or switch to wild caught meat ie Kangaroo
- Drive smart, read here
- Electric heaters zap energy, use a hot water bottle or an added blanket
- Wash with a full load
- Air dry clothes
3. Educate yourself
Even just understanding the problem will help.
- Watch documentaries – A Plastic Ocean and Blue is a great start (we will be giving away passes to see Blue next month so check back in!)
- Read reliable sources & follow news such as New Scientist
- Spread the word in your community
- If you eat fish – understand which species are more vulnerable here
4. Put your money where your mouth is
- Invest your $$ in ethical companies that care about the environment e.g. Australia Ethical
- Buy products from people that care e.g. sustainable clothing brands
- Commit your voice to a campaign
- Understand who you are voting for & what they believe
I’m still learning but you can also pledge to become an ocean guardian and learn more here.