Saving the world’s oceans seems like a daunting task, one too intimidating to even start. But what if I told you that there are things that you and I can do, some of which are pretty easy, that would make a difference?
The first thing on my list is pretty simple: reduce your impact. Install things like energy efficient lightbulbs to reduce your energy consumption (less energy = less pollution from burning of fossil fuels to make energy = less global warming and slowing the rate that ocean temperatures are rising and killing fish) and recycle or reuse plastic (or opt for something else) whenever possible. It takes so long to break down that plastic can wind up anywhere, including in the ocean!
The next thing for you to remember is that ALL waterways goes to the ocean, whether you live near a body of water or not! So no dumping medications down the drain. Use less, and more environmentally friendly, cleaners and chemicals whenever possible. That includes the stuff you use to clean things inside your home, vehicles like boats or cars, and even what types of chemicals you put on your plants! The chemicals you use wind up in your home plumbing systems or are washed into storm drains and wind up in our oceans and rivers.
Next, clean up after yourself and your pets. Don’t litter, especially on beaches and when you’re boating. Most trash that ends up in the ocean started out on land—so don’t let that trash come from you! Picking up after your pets also ensures that harmful bacteria doesn’t get washed into the storm drains as well. If you’ve got some extra time, volunteer at a litter pickup or beach cleanup. You’ll feel great afterward and it will serve as a good reminder what happens when you litter or don’t pick up after yourself!
Lastly, be considerate of marine life! Be careful when you are boating, snorkeling, surfing, or any other maritime activities. Don’t ever touch coral or disturb or feed the creatures you see. And never remove them from their habitats! Take pictures if you want to remember them, but leave them be. Don’t buy products that use bad practices or exploit the oceans! That includes when you are looking for something to eat – make sure your fish was captured in a sustainable way without harming other species in the process. You can check websites like the Monterey Bay Seafood Watch or the Marine Stewardship Council to know what is responsibly caught and what should be avoided.
See, these things don’t seem so bad, do they? If every one of us did these little things, there would be a huge ripple effect across the world and our oceans would be a healthy and clean environment for all of us to enjoy!