If you’re one to love water, you’re likely going to find yourself visiting beaches and having adventures at sea and cruises in oceans. Sadly, no matter how many beautiful pictures you get, you may likely find out some areas around the world where oceans aren’t exactly as beautiful as they were made out to be before – all because of improper care, management, and maintenance. However, just because they’re in that state now doesn’t mean it’s too late to help the oceans. In fact, there might just be some ways for you to contribute to their betterment.
Numbers from Ocean Crusaders indicate that there are actually as much as 5.25-trillion plastic waste pieces in the ocean. Of these numbers, only 269,000 tons of plastic waste get to float on the surface, with 4-billion plastic microbers per square kilometer littering the deep sea. These numbers might not be alarming at first given it’s hard to imagine its sheer size, but its effects can be staggering. For instance, 1-million seabirds actually perish due to plastic. Floods in other countries become more severe than intended because of plastic pollution – such as the Bangladesh floods in 1988 and 1998 that had thousands perish because plastic bags had clogged their drains – it got so bad that the government has totally banned plastic bags.
Unfortunately, 13,000 to 15,000 pieces of plastic waste are actually being dumped into the ocean worldwide every single day, which is making a majority of our fish stocks suffer because of ingesting plastic. More than 200 areas around the world were already declared “dead zones” by scientists because of their inability to support life. However, just because these numbers sound bad doesn’t mean we’re totally incapable of helping save the oceans anymore. Here’s how you can help:
1.) Be more mindful of your energy consumption and carbon footprint: Oddly enough, did you know your being aware of what you’re doing to the environment is enough to make a change – especially for the oceans? You can make an impact even from home. Be more conscious of how much energy you use at work and at home. For instance, try to switch to LED devices, take more time with the stairs, use a fan instead of the thermostat, and unplug devices when not used.
2.) Be more sustainable, safe with seafood: If you love seafood, you actually have a way of making ocean-saving choices just by picking the right kind of food to eat. You can ask around your local restaurants, but given that fish populations are rapidly being exhausted due to demand, unsustainable practices, and loss of habitat, being indulgent can bring us one step closer into losing all aquatic life in its entirety.
3.) Be more mindful with plastic: If you have an opportunity to quit using plastic, try to do so in favor of using reusable products such as bags, wooden utensils, and other materials. If you can bring your own eco-bag when shopping for groceries, or your own containers for meat and other food, it can contribute a lot to lessening the overall carbon input of the world.
4.) Be more clean in the beach: This doesn’t mean wearing more clothes when you want to have a good time swimming or relaxing, but remember that it’s not too tiring to clean up after yourself when using the ocean’s beauty for your Instagram photos. Encourage others to help you clean the trash in order to preserve the beautiful beaches for your future visits and for future generations.
5.) Be more wary of products that exploit marine life: Some products, despite their beauty, actually exploit the oceans. For instance, tortoise shell accessories or coral jewelry, even shark products, have come from harming marine populations and fragile coral reefs. This eliminates chances of younger fish to be born because their habitats are destroyed.
The Takeaway: Oceans Matter, And You Can Help
Just because the oceans are vast compared to our size as humans doesn’t mean we can’t do anything to contribute to their betterment. The oceans right now need our help more than ever, and it appears even one small step from us can do a great deal into helping our oceans become healthier and more appropriate for habitation for sea creatures and other forms of life. After all, this is the only world we have, so we better work towards making sure we keep it as healthy as possible for generations to come.
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