Its World Oceans Day today, a day dedicated to soemthing that we should all take note of. The Ocean is so important to every living thing on this planet and quite frankly, we are not taking care of it. We are just littering it, poisoning it and abusing it to a level of destruction. This sounds dismal but the reality is - it really is this serious. As Dr Sylvia Earle has said many times, "No blue, no green" and this couldn't be more true. I believe it is everyone's duty to help where they can, every person can do something to help the ocean.
Reduce Your Plastic Foot Print
Single use plastics are one of the largest problems happening to the planet. Human kind has come to rely so much on single use plastic we haven't thought about what happens to it when it gets thrown away. The answer is - not a lot, a lot of single use plastics cannot be recycled, nor are they biodegradable so it ends up sitting on landfill or in the ocean. Supermarket plastic bags, plastic wrapping, cans, bottles and more lie on the ocean floor or float around forever until they get ingested, entwined around an animal or they just become part of the ocean landscape.
Say NO to single use plastics when you can, pick items in the supermarket with little or no plastic packaging and check if you can recycle them. Take bags for life with you shopping and reuse pots and tubs rather than plastic sandwich bags/foil every time. Be conscience of what you're buying and think where it can end up, this goes for food, cosmetics and make-up. A few changes can help a lot.
You know that plastic cotton bud you 'accidentally' flushed down the loo or the sink? Well it ended up in the ocean and on a beach. Not only does everything that goes down the drain end up in the ocean, but it also goes into the food chain. Fish eat the plastic, Birds eat the plastic, Whales eat the plastic and the list goes on. There has been lots of beached animals in the press the last 6 months (seeing it more and more unfortunately) and when the autopsy is done, what is in there their stomachs? Plastic. Not only is it incredibly dangerous for an animal to ingest these plastics, but these plastics also effect their environment. How would you like it if your house just became filled with plastic, every move you made just getting you more entangled in a plastic bag?
How can you help? If you're walking along the beach - why not take a bag with you to fill up with any litter you see? You could do it on your own, in a group of friends or get in touch with Surfers Against Sewage and see if they have a planned one in your area and if there isn't - you could always organise one. Even if you just spend half an hour walking and picking up some rubbish on the beach and by the water, you're making a difference.
Bin It, Don't Flush it
Wipes, Sanitary products, cotton buds - these belong in the bin not down the toilet. You may think that is obvious and you may personally put these type of items in the bin, but not everyone does. This is clear by the amount of these products that are found in the ocean and on the beach, cotton buds are EVERYWHERE. If you use face wipes, maybe look into alternative reusable cleansing pads (I'd recommend these from 'Love The Planet' ) to use with a cleanser or use biodegradable wipes. Whatever the case - BIN IT! Don't flush it.
Ban The Bead
Microbeads are a hideous invention. These small, circular beads are found in scrubs, toothpastes, soaps, hair products and more. I am happy to say there has been a massive decline in these but there are still a lot out there. Instead of using a scrub with microbeads in, why not use a salt,sugar or coffee scrub? I have found to be not only much more eco friendly but 100% more effective. These are hugely accessible too, on the high street you can find these types of scrubs in the The Body Shop and Superdrug. Or for online, one of my favourite stores for skincare is Living Naturally, they do two scrubs - a sugar and a coffee scrub (both fantastic!).
The impact of these tiny plastic balls on the animals and the environment is huge. Plastic has become a huge part of marine life which is a horrific shame and microbeads play a big part. So please, if you find a product you want that has microbeads in - RETHINK!
Don't Eat Fish
Now this is self explanatory, I am saying this as a vegan so of course I don't want anyone to eat fish. Aside from my views, we are overfishing the oceans to such an extent that the fish and marine life does not have enough time to replenish. There are fishing boats all over the word every single day pulling fish out of the sea, I don't even know how there are any fish left in the sea. All marine life is threatened by fishing, lots of other marine life is caught in the fishing nets and then they die. Sharks are hunted for their fins (for soup) and just left in the water, unable to swim.
One clip that stays with me is from 'Mission Blue', Dr Sylvia Earle takes a trip back to a part of the ocean she once visited in her 20's. When Dr Earle first visited this site the ocean was alive with colour and marine life, when she revisited it in the documentary there was not one fish swimming around. Does that not tell us anything? Even if you reduce your fish intake and only have it a few times a month it would help.
Please think of the ocean, if we don't look after it we will regret it.