How You Can Protect Our World’s Oceans | World Oceans Day 2020
Today is World Oceans Day, an annual, global event celebrating the role of our world’s oceans in everyday life. Its aim is to spread awareness on how we can protect our world’s oceans, restore them, and learn to use marine resources sustainably. And a chance to show the world why our seas are so important.
Why should you help protect our world’s oceans?
According to World Oceans Day’s website, healthy oceans are critical to a healthy planet and to healthy people. Because our oceans do so much more for us than we realise, from producing oxygen for us to breathe, regulating our climate, cleaning the water we drink, giving us recreational experiences, and more.
So then why are we taking so much out of our oceans (like marine or plant life) and putting so much litter back in? It’s estimated that between 4.8 and 12.7 million tons of plastic enter the ocean, every year. But plastic isn’t the only litter that winds up in the ocean. We also see garbage from landfills or rubbish bins, clothing microfibers, cigarette butts, wet wipes, and one that’s been talked about a lot in recent years, plastic straws.
All this litter in our oceans is so damaging to fish and other marine life. They can mistake the plastic for food – which, as I explained on World Penguin Day – can kill them, or get caught up or tangled in it. But it’s not simply plastic pollution that is hurting our world’s oceans. They are also at threat from pollution, overfishing, invasive species, and rising ocean acidity due to our extensive use of fossil fuels.
So whether your interest is to protect marine wildlife, reduce the impact of overfishing or to clean up beach litter – June 8th is your chance to spread awareness, help prevent this from happening, and learn about how we can protect our world’s oceans.
So, now you know why our oceans are important, how can we protect them?
One of the best ways to protect marine life is shopping sustainably, by avoiding products whose chemicals or packaging can make its way into the ocean. Which harms marine life. Some ideas to consider are purchasing reusable products (to prevent plastic waste), second-hand clothing (to reduce fossil fuels), and ocean-friendly suncream (to protect coral reefs).
Saying ‘no’ to single-use plastic
Reduce single-use plastics as much as you can, or consider going entirely plastic-free. Some swaps to consider are reusable shopping bags, reusable water bottles, solid soap or shampoo bars, and safety razors. It is also important to make sure you recycle and dispose of your household waste properly, to prevent it from ending up on a landfill site.
Reducing your carbon footprint
There are many ways you can reduce your carbon footprint at home, including turning off lights and appliances when they are not in use, purchasing energy-efficient products, having shorter showers, and by using public transport, walking or cycling when you can.
Eating less seafood
The best way to combat overfishing is by not eating seafood; however, if you really would miss it, try making more sustainable choices by checking the Seafood Watch Lists, to ensure the seafood you eat is caught or raised sustainably.
Picking up litter
One of the best ways we can keep plastic out of our oceans is by participating in a litter pickup. You may find that there are already litter pickups, or beach clean-ups, held in your local area, but, if not, try holding one yourself.
Either head out in your neighbourhood or to your local beach – with a bag and a pair of gloves – and help stop litter entering our oceans. Even if there isn’t a beach near you, rivers, lakes, wetlands, or underwater areas should also be kept clean. As the litter will likely make it’s way back to our oceans eventually.
Donating towards marine conservation
There are a number of charities and wildlife organisations dedicated to marine conservation. Including World Oceans Day itself, which of course you can donate to. But perhaps there’s specific marine conservation that interests you? There are many organisations that focus on specific areas, from marine wildlife to pollution, here are a few to consider:-
- Marine Conservation Society – the UK’s leading charity for the protection of our seas, shores and wildlife.
- Oceana – One of the biggest names in ocean preservation, promoting sustainable fishing practices, tackling pollution, educational work, and launching wildlife expeditions to document marine ecosystems.
- The Ocean Conservancy – focuses on wildlife health, removing plastic pollution, and other key issues.
- Plastic Oceans UK – Aims to stop plastic reaching the oceans within a generation.
- The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) – Protects the world’s animals, conserves endangered species all over the planet, restoring endangered coastal ecosystems, reducing plastic pollution, and advocating against overfishing.
- Sea Sheperd – Whose primary mission is to end the destruction of habitats and illegal killing of wildlife around the UK’s coastline and across the world’s oceans in order to conserve and protect marine ecosystems and species.
If you’re unable to donate at the moment you could consider fundraising for one of the organisations I’ve listed above. Fundraising can be a great way to give back and research has shown that volunteering also has a positive impact on mental health.
Here are a few fundraising ideas to get you started.
- Have a blue themed dress down day in the office or your local school, for a small donation. Why blue? Because our oceans are commonly known as the ‘big blue’.
- Bake something blue (like blueberry muffins) and sell them to your colleagues or neighbours, or host a coffee morning. Ask for donations.
- Hold an ocean-themed quiz, or even one for the popular Pixar movies ‘Finding Nemo’ and ‘Finding Dory’. Which would be ideal for children.
- Host a marine creature costume competition, for a small donation/entrance fee.
- Hold a raffle.
Watch a documentary about our world’s oceans
Learn more about our world’s oceans and the dangers surrounding them by watching a nature documentary. Some of my favourites include Blue Planet, Planet Earth: Ocean Deep, and Frozen Planet – many of which are on Netflix
Finally, spread the word on social media
The World Oceans Day’s website has kindly created a set of social media graphics to help you spread the world, including cover photos and social media tiles and more. You can also follow @WorldOceansDay on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and use the hashtag #WorldOceansDay to get involved.
What will you do to help protect our world’s oceans?
The Blog Brew is a collaboration between myself and 9 other lovely bloggers. Each month we will write a post relating to the Blog Brew Collab on our own blogs. You can stay updated here and learn all about our blogs.
This month our theme is ‘awareness’. And we’ve each chosen a daily, weekly, or even monthly event happening in June to share with you.
Here’s our schedule for the month:-
- 6th June – Head over to Introverted Creativity
- 8th June – That’s me! Thank you for reading. 😊
- 10th June – Head over to Perselem
- 14th June– Head over to Wonderer and Traveller
- 17th June – Head over to Tales of Belle
- 18th June – Head over to Kirsty Marie
- 24th June– Head over to The Makeup by Beth
- 27th June – Head over to Mrs Slee-Jones
- 30th June– Head over to My Breaking Views