6.8.20 / Global

How to Save the Oceans from Home

Celebrate World Oceans Day by making easy changes at home

Today is World Oceans Day, and in the midst of a global pandemic and a fight for equality, we’re reminded that the environment isn’t going to wait until it’s convenient for us to think about it. The oceans are still in desperate need for our attention, and our protection. Thankfully, not only is there plenty we can do from home, we’re actually learning lessons from these other crises that we can apply to the environment as well:

Minimize Your Plastic Consumption

We’ll start with the one that gets the most attention: plastic pollution. We’re dumping tons (8 million tons per year) of plastic garbage into the ocean, and it’s not going away. There are both organizations and individuals who are making it their job to clean it up, but if we don’t concurrently reduce our plastic use, their efforts will be in vain. Right now we’re all stuck at home and the temptation is to buy a bunch of things online, but it’s also the best opportunity to minimize shopping and stick to the essentials. This is the time to look around and decide how much plastic you actually don’t need, and make those changes.

Eat Sustainable Seafood

Overfishing is a major disruptor of the delicate eco-system that allows the ocean to thrive. By choosing sustainable sea-food, you’re helping fisheries get back to healthy levels, supporting local fisheries, reducing harmful catching methods, and helping preserve natural habitats. The Monterey Bay Aquarium has put together a guide to choosing seafood in a more sustainable way. Beyond that, ask your local supermarkets about sustainably-sourced fish, and be picky when deciding what to buy.

Reduce Emissions At Home

Even our carbon dioxide pollution is causing the oceans to become significantly more acidic, making it inhabitable for things like coral. Walking and biking has never been more prevalent, which helps reduce the emissions from cars. Monitoring your electricity use by unplugging unused devices, minimizing your air conditioner use come summer, and running an energy audit at your house. This has been a rare chance to disconnect, which means we don’t have to be so plugged in all the time—literally.

Vote And Reach Out To Leaders

The last week has showed us how important it is to put pressure on our politicians to make important changes. Otherwise things will remain the same for as long as it’s convenient; less work is always easier. People have been signing petitions, emailing city council members, using social media, and doing everything they can to make their voice heard loud and clear. That type of engagement will also be needed to help create stronger environmental policies.

Spread Awareness

Like voting, we’ve seen how gathering and sharing information has opened many people to ideas that were there all along with regards to race and equality. Let people know how crucial it is to make environmental changes, and how transformative it can be. You should be rigid and discerning when gathering information (misinformation only harms), but then don’t be afraid to spread the word. In this case, what people don’t know can hurt them, and turning a blind eye towards the oceans will lead to far greater harm in the future.

[Image credits: “Tentacles” by threepwolfe is licensed under CC0 1.0; “Dolphin” by danieldoan is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 ]

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