9 + 1 ways to help our oceans

Posted by: ADMIN Comments: 0

Photo by Alexandra Vougiouka, Bahamas

Oceans cover 71 percent of the planet and are home to significant marine species and ecosystems that we depend on for nutrition, livelihoods, climate regulation, and many other purposes. Scientists say that around 50 to 80 percent of the earth’s oxygen production arrives from the oceans. Various marine life mandates a clean ocean to thrive. However, the oceans are in immediate need of our help.

The challenges confronting our oceans are pressing. Scientific discoveries underscore the severity of threats to marine ecosystems, including alarming declines in shark populations and significant degradation of crucial marine habitats. Confronted by pollution, plastic pollution, climate change, overfishing, and other formidable issues, individual actions may appear insignificant. Saving the oceans can be daunting, but collective efforts can yield significant results. Together, we can make a substantial impact. So, how can you help save our seas?
Here are 10 ways to get started:

1. Avoid single use plastics (and if you use, keep plastic away from beaches).

Photo by Katerina Topouzoglou, Avlemonas, Mykonos

Various single-use plastic items, including straws, water bottles, plastic bags, and food containers, threaten marine life and contribute significantly to ocean pollution. Each of us bears a personal obligation to minimize our plastic usage as much as we can. So, refusing these products is recommended and opt for reusable alternatives such as shopping bags, stainless steel coffee mugs, water bottles, and straws.

When visiting the beach, it’s crucial to minimize the amount of plastic we bring along. Despite our intentions to dispose of it properly, there’s always a risk of it inadvertently ending up on the beach. It’s essential to clean up any trash before leaving, as leaving waste behind increases the likelihood of it reaching the ocean and harming marine animals. There’s no justification for abandoning plastic. Remember, at the beach, strive to leave nothing behind except footprints!

2. Reduce-Reuse-Recycle!

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation warns us that if we don’t act now, by 2050, there could be more plastic than fish in the oceans. This is a crisis that demands our immediate attention. We must change how we design, use, and re-use plastics. We cannot simply recycle. Humans produce vast quantities of plastic yearly, many of which end up in the sea, causing unredeemable harm to marine life. The biggest way to help save our ocean is to ensure that no more plastic ends up in our already clogged marine ecosystems.

The 3Rs show us the way:

  • We can reduce the consumption of disposable items, namely the amount of plastic we buy. For instance, we can use reusable bags in the shops, metal water bottles instead of single-use plastic, bamboo, or reusable cutlery instead of single-use plastic or our coffee mug.
  • We can re-use what we already have instead of throwing it away, whenever possible. For example, we can use old plastic bags leftovers for supermarket shopping, or old containers as plant pots! There are many more ideas for people who do not wish to throw away things they do not need.
  • Finally, we can recycle what we can’t re-purpose.

3. Eat sustainable seafood! Always read the label!

Photo by Katerina Topouzoglou, Maldives

The extraction of fish from the ocean surpasses their ability to reproduce naturally, resulting in a decline in fish populations. This widespread occurrence, termed overfishing, has detrimental effects on numerous species, such as sharks and rays, and has indirect consequences on marine ecosystems due to bycatch and habitat destruction methods like bottom trawling and dredging. Addressing this issue requires concerted efforts, and the Save Our Seas Foundation proposes two primary strategies: reducing seafood consumption and actively selecting responsibly and sustainably sourced options. By implementing these approaches, we can work towards mitigating the adverse impacts of overfishing on marine biodiversity and ecosystems.
Don’t forget to be an informed consumer and ensure that you are aware of the ingredients present in the products you purchase (read the label).

4. Reduce your Carbon emissions.

Photo by Katerina Topouzoglou, French Polynesia

Climate change is already affecting our oceans in diverse ways, as they are delicate and prone to alterations and exceptionally vulnerable to change. With the warming climate, our oceans also experience rising temperatures, leading to shifts in biodiversity and disrupting crucial interactions essential for their survival. If the upward trend in water temperatures persists, coral reefs could become uninhabitable by 2050 due to excessive warmth. Such a development would significantly blow marine biodiversity and potentially change the elemental dynamics of our oceans permanently. Additionally, warmer seas adversely impact the reproductive success of commercially targeted species like pollock or cod.

To mitigate the impacts of climate change, we can opt for eco-friendly transportation alternatives to cars, select renewable energy sources whenever feasible, enhance home energy efficiency through improvements, decrease air travel, and be mindful of our dietary choices, like reducing your meat and dairy intake. These actions contribute to reducing our carbon footprint and alleviating the pressures on ocean ecosystems caused by climate change.

5. Beware of microplastics.

Photo by Agni Thalassinou, Syros

Microplastics, defined as plastic particles smaller than 5mm in diameter, are virtually invisible but pervasive in our lives, from infiltrating human respiratory systems to polluting marine environments. They are present in everyday items like facial scrubs, toothpaste, and synthetic clothing fibers. As we use these products, microplastics are washed away, ultimately ending up in the ocean. Despite their small size, their accumulation poses significant pollution risks. To address this issue, it’s advisable to avoid cosmetics containing ‘microbeads,’ a typical plastic exfoliant, and opt for natural materials in clothing instead of cheaper synthetic alternatives like nylon and polyester. By making these choices, we can help mitigate the spread of microplastics and their environmental impact.

6. Choose responsible tourism.

Tourism offers a way to connect people all over the world with each other and with the ocean. Additionally, the tourism sector plays a crucial role in ensuring steady financial support for communities residing in coastal areas. There are, however, some negative sides to tourism. Before embarking on a journey, conduct thorough research to ensure that the company you plan to travel with prioritizes marine conservation. Any organization offering sea excursions should prioritize safety and uphold marine conservation principles. They should adhere to established codes of conduct to safeguard wildlife and promote sustainable ocean use. Before making any bookings, conduct thorough research to ensure that your excursion won’t have negative impacts on the ocean.

7. Shop locally.

Purchasing items from local businesses benefits the local community and reduces the necessity for transporting goods over long distances, thereby reducing fuel consumption. We can opt for sustainable products crafted from eco-friendly materials or choose products that allocate a portion of their profits to environmental initiatives.

8. Avoid fast fashion.

Maritime Professionals warn that purchasing fast-fashion items can damage the ocean considerably. This practice pollutes nearby rivers and streams, depletes water sources, and contributes approximately 10% of human carbon emissions. As alternatives to buying fast-fashion products, opt for shopping at thrift stores, attending yard sales, or utilizing clothing resale websites.

9. Use your voice!

Photo by Giannis Giatas, Rhodes

Social media offers a platform for instigating change. We can amplify its impact by raising awareness about oceanic threats through sharing content and supporting campaigns. Additionally, it is crucial to endorse organizations dedicated to preserving and rejuvenating marine ecosystems. Engaging in conversations with family and friends is equally significant, as even influencing one person can initiate a chain reaction of positive change.

10. Join All For Blue!

Photo by Giorgos Polopetrakis, Athens

All For Blue is a Greek non-profit organization active globally. Its mission is to protect the seas and oceans through educational programs and experiential cleanup actions. With our ocean conservation seminars, we aim to inform future generations about the balance of the marine ecosystem, to provide ways to avoid single use plastics, and to tell the truth about what is happening in the oceans.

So far, more than 61754 attendees have participated in our educational programs, and we have removed more than 300 tons of trash during our clean-ups. But there’s more to be done! Become a member of our team and join our efforts to protect the oceans.

According to the UN, ensuring human well-being is inseparable from safeguarding and preserving Earth’s ecosystems. To sustain the benefits oceans have bestowed upon us and uphold their ecological integrity, a shift in human perspectives, management, and utilization of oceans, seas, and marine resources is imperative.

Remember that regardless of your location or background, you have a connection to the sea and the power to effect change. These suggested actions are just a few ways to contribute—even committing to just one makes a difference in safeguarding our oceans. By joining forces, we can enact tangible transformation.


Share this post

Share this post