It’s time to celebrate, sustain, and give a little love to our favorite blue beauty. June is World Oceans Month! If you live near or far from the ocean, your actions impact our oceans’ health. You don’t have to have beachfront property to join in on World Oceans Month. Here are a few easy ways you can help protect the seven seas and beyond.
Pledge to cut your plastic use
According to Ocean Conservancy, scientists estimate that 11 million metric tons of plastic pollute our oceans every year. This is terrible news for everybody. Fish, seabirds, and marine mammals are injured or even dead from ingesting plastic. Eventually, this trickles down to humans. If fish are eating plastic, plastic is in our food. You are what you eat! Pledge to end or even significantly reduce your plastic use. There are a few simple changes you can make today.
- Bring your own reusable bags to the grocery store. If you keep them in your car you’ll be more prone to using them by having quick access. The more you do it, the more the habit sticks.
- Stop buying plastic water bottles. If you must have bottled water, choose bottles made of glass or paper, like boxed water. A more cost-efficient method is to invest in an at-home water filter that attaches to your sink or stays in your fridge.
- Buy eco-friendly everyday products. There’s an alternative option for everything from toothbrushes, to dishes. Do this over time depending on your need. Throwing out new plastic products to replace them with sustainable products is wasteful and counterproductive.
- Buying fruits and vegetables from your local farmer’s market is great way to avoid plastic packaging from grocery stores. Plus, it helps your local economy!
- Keep reusable bamboo cutlery sets at your workplace to avoid using the plastic sets typically provided.
- If there’s an option for glass or plastic, always choose glass.
Join a trash pick-up or do your own
A quick Google search can help you here. Simply type in “community cleanup near me” or something similar, and you’re sure to find options in your area. If not, head to your favorite park or beach, bring paper bags, and start filling them. Remember to recycle what you can from your findings!
Check for local World Oceans Month events
Again, search engines are your friend. Search “World Oceans Month events near me”, anything publicly published should show up. You can also check with local sustainability groups on their social media pages or websites.
Donate to an ocean conservation organization
Ocean conservation organizations work to conserve marine habitats, restore the biological health of our oceans, educate communities and clean our coasts. Donating to a good cause helps keep the organizations running and fund their projects. Some great organizations include Oceana, Environment Defense Fund, Surfrider Foundation, Project AWARE, Greenpeace, and Reef Check.
Support brands that focus on sustainability
Did you know sustainable fashion also plays a role in our oceans’ health? In 2012, scientists found a dead whale in Washington had swallowed an entire pair of pants, a golf ball, and plastic bags. Fast fashion hurts our marine life, there’s a chance that anything your throw out ends up in their home. Buying from brands that don’t promote fast fashion is a good place to start. Better yet, buy from brands that actively do the opposite. Every Solgaard purchase removes 229 plastic bottles entering from our ocean, and single-use plastics are being removed from all products and shipping processes. Being a thoughtful shopper can make a difference.
Give your car some time off
Get outside on foot, bike, scooter, or skateboard. We know driving is a major contributor to pollution, but did you know air pollution promotes the growth of harmful algal blooms in the ocean? This can cause a massive die-off of shellfish, coral reefs, marine mammals and seabirds. If every person in the United States cut their driving by just 10%, it would reduce roughly 110 million metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. Save some money and our planet!
Tune in to the United Nations hybrid celebration
This year’s United Nations theme is Revitalization: Collective Action for the Ocean. It’s the first ever hybrid celebration of the annual event, happening June 8th (but you can still watch the event on their website). The goal is to shed light on communities, ideas, and solutions that are working together to protect and vitalize the ocean and everything it sustains. Nonetheless, it’s a great opportunity to learn about the ecosystem providing 50% of the air we breathe.
Celebrating our oceans shouldn’t come just once a year. The choices we make everyday, big or small, have a domino effect on our earth. Making responsible purchases, thoughtful decisions and impactful actions are what will keep the oceans happy and healthy. Let’s choose to consistently take care of big blue this World Oceans Month.