5 Ways You Can Take Care of the Ocean This Earth Day
Our oceans are essential for all living things. It provides over half of the world’s oxygen, and is home to hundreds of thousands of marine life species.
Unfortunately, more and more pollutants and debris find their way into the water with each passing year. It’s going to take a concerted effort from all of us to maintain our ocean’s health—from non-profits to individuals like you.
Cleaning up ocean pollution can feel like an overwhelming task. But there are a few easy and effective decisions you can make at home to improve the health and sustainability of our greatest living ecosystem.
From cutting down your water usage and minimizing your plastic use to getting involved with ocean conservation organizations, you can have a positive impact on ocean preservation efforts. And you don’t have to live near an ocean to help take care of them — you can help from anywhere!
1. Cut Down Your Water Usage
How you treat water on land affects its quality at the beach. It also impacts the health of the planet’s coastal ecosystems.
Your home is connected to a series of either septic systems or sewers that move waste and wastewater to treatment plants. If these systems become overrun with water and waste, they can sometimes fail — leading to contaminants seeping into the groundwater, local waterways, and eventually the ocean.
It’s easy to limit your water use at home (and decrease the amount going into septic systems or sewers) without upheaving your normal routine.:
- Take shorter showers (or even take more baths). A typical shower can use 2.5 gallons of water a minute. Shaving even a few minutes off your rinse can help!
- Turn off your faucet when brushing your teeth and instead fill up a glass with water to rinse your teeth.
- Use your dishwasher or washing machine for full loads only.
- Don’t leave the water running if you wash dishes by hand. If you have 2 sinks, fill 1 up to scrub down dirty dishes. If you have 1 sink, gather scrubbed up dishes on a rack and quickly rinse them all at once.
Not only does cutting down your water use benefit the quality of ocean ecosystems, but it can also help regionally with potential water shortages.
2. Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
Carbon dioxide is the most common greenhouse gas that’s released into our atmosphere, primarily by burning of fossil fuels. And this gas is making oceans more acidic and warmer.
The acidity and increasing temps of the ocean contribute to both the bleaching of corals and the loss of marine life breeding grounds around the world. If this trend continues, our oceans and marine life could face further devastation.
While global warming threatens all ecosystems, there are a number of ways you can reduce your footprint and do your part in decreasing pollution:
- Try swapping, buying second-hand, or shopping from brands who are eco-friendly in their production process.
- Unplug your electronics when they’re not in use.
- Ride your bike, use public transportation, carpool, or use car shares when you need to go somewhere.
- Don’t crank the heat the whole winter — layer up with warm clothes and look into better insulating your home or apartment to decrease gas usage.
Another way you can reduce your carbon footprint is by paying attention to how your groceries are produced. Shopping for seasonal and local foods is a great way to start!
3. Eat Sustainable Fish
“Sustainable” seafood means that the fish have been caught or farmed with the long-term future of the species and the health of the oceans in mind.
By law, fisheries in the U.S. must have plans in place to avoid overfishing, identifying and conserving fish habitats, and replenishing depleted supplies. Sustainable fishing benefits the vitality of fish species, economies, and our diets.
- More than 85% of the world’s fisheries are overexploited, resulting in endangered species. Buying sustainably-sourced fish helps fish populations rebuild.
- Coastal towns all over the world depend on small-scale fisheries.
- Sustainable fish are high in proteins and vitamins, while containing minimal harmful toxins (like mercury).
Sustainable fishing also emits less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere — 6 times less than land-based proteins like beef!
4. Minimize Your Plastic Use
Going plastic-free is ideal, but is an ambitious goal for most of us. Start by reducing your use of plastics at home, in stores, and at restaurants.
By making a few changes, you can help decrease the amount of plastic in the ocean and improve oceanic ecosystems.
- Use plastic-free storage like glass jars or Pyrex products to store your leftovers.
- Utilize reusable bags and containers when you hit the grocery store or market.
- Learn how to properly recycle your plastics.
- Bring your own plastic-free alternatives and say no to single-use plastics like silverware, lids, and straws.
Limiting your plastic use also helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions, conserves energy, and even saves you money.
5. Get Involved With The Blue Verve Project!
It’s up to us to protect our planet and keep toxic and harmful waste out of our oceans. At the Blue Verve Project, we believe taking action for the environment isn’t just about how to save the environment from pollution. It’s about creating a healthier world for everyone, together.
We are also motivated by the power that everyone has to make a positive change with the choices we make each day. Through raising consciousness, providing educational resources, and supporting meaningful action, we work to explore viable solutions to the complex issues surrounding ocean pollution.
As we continue to launch new programs around and build a platform for environmental change, we want to empower you to be a part of a sustainable future.
Get involved in the Blue Verve Project or organize an event in your community >