4 Easy Lifestyle Changes You Can Make To Help Save Our Oceans

Knowing that we are destroying our oceans, is heart breaking.

Olivia Burton

I used to fear the ocean; this fear has now turned into respect and love.

Don’t get me wrong, I still get ‘the fear’ when I’m out surfing in anything above 2-foot waves, but I’m so grateful to just be able to be near it. This is why knowing that we are destroying our oceans, is heart breaking.

The ocean, which makes up 71% of the Earth’s surface, has millions of species of plants and animals living in it. Over the last few decades, humanity has been destroying it which threatens not only the species within it but our own.

There are several actions that have made a significant negative impact on our oceans.

"The ocean, which makes up 71% of the Earth’s surface, has millions of species of plants and animals living in it."

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

plastic pollution

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

blue documentary

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.

Olivia Burton

Olivia is an eco-writer, producer, science graduate & ocean enthusiast. After moving from London to Sydney, she found her love for the outdoors and recycled textiles, which led her to start writing about science and sustainable fashion. Olivia is really passionate about brands using fashion for good and innovation in the industry. She now splits her time between several not-for-profit organisations in communication roles. Olivia is also a Centre for Sustainability Leadership alumni and sits on the Fashion Revolution committee for Australia & New Zealand.