Coral bleaching captured by Kristina Tietjen for The Washington Post
Plastics have been found in 100% of marine turtles.
5 Simple Ways We Can Help Our Oceans: World Oceans Day
For all of us at REV, every day is Earth Day and every day is Ocean Day. The planet’s wellbeing is at the core of everything we do, and our entire team is continuously working on learning more themselves, so that we can have productive and meaningful conversations in our own lives. To be more sustainable in one’s everyday life, the most important thing to do is to simply keep the planet in mind when you’re at the grocery store, buying new clothes, or by the beach. Try and ask yourself, “how is this purchase or decision negatively impacting the world around me?”
“Plastics have been found in 100% of marine turtles, 59% of whales, 36% of seals, and 40% of seabirds examined.”
Surfers Against Sewage
1. Reduce Your Daily Plastic Consumption
We know this one may seem obvious, but plastic continues to be a massive issue for our Oceans. According to SAS, around eight million pieces of plastic pollution make their way into our precious oceans every single day. Plastics have been found in 100% of marine turtles, 59% of whales, 36% of seals, and 40% of seabirds examined. Every year 100,000 marine mammals and turtles and 1 million sea birds are killed by marine plastic [source: Surfers Against Sewage].
Did you know that there are actual plastic islands in our oceans? The Great Pacific Garbage Patch covers a surface area of around 1.6 million square kilometers. The GPGP is the largest of five offshore plastic accumulation zones, and all of them are growing…. [source: The Ocean Clean Up].
Check out these articles on how to reduce your plastic consumption:
12 Simple Ways To Cut Back On Plastic Consumption
10 Plastic-Free Swaps For Your Most Used Items
How To Curate A Plastic Free Kitchen
2. Re-Think Fish
The way the West consume fish is currently completely unsustainable and industrial fishing is causing a rapid decline in ocean wildlife populations. Large scale fishing practices destroy wildlife and habitats in their quest for favorites like cod, salmon, seabass and more. By using lines with more than 2,500 hooks (bycatch) that stretch very far along the surface of the sea, boats catch and kill lots of wildlife, that they don’t even want. This same thing also happens when boats use large scale nets. “Over the past twenty years, an estimated 85,000 sea turtles have been killed as bycatch. Additionally, an estimated 300,000 marine mammals, 160,000 albatross and 3 million sharks are lost to bycatch from fishing practices each year.” [source: Environmental Science].
If you want to continue eating fish, we urge you to eat differently…
Reduce your fish intake to a few times a month.
Eat local fish from small day boats, that are line caught.
Do not eat fish that are endangered from overfishing – European eel, wild Atlantic halibut, UK cod, UK sea bass.
Farmdrop is very transparent about where they get their fish from and have a great selection of fish from local and small day boats.
“About 80% of corals in the Caribbean have been lost in the last 50 years due to pollution.”
3. Choose Sunscreen Carefully
It is very important to protect our skin from the summer sun, when the UV is at its highest. However, most conventional sunscreens are toxic for not just our own bodies, but for our oceans. Chemicals found in conventional sunscreens contribute greatly to the destruction of our coral reefs. “By the numbers, the problem is daunting: 14,000 tons of sunscreen are thought to wash into the oceans each year; 82,000 chemicals from personal-care products may be tainting the seas; about 80% of corals in the Caribbean have been lost in the last 50 years due to pollution,” along with other things [source: National Geographic].
Wearing a natural SPF is not only better for your body but is also way better for sea life. Check out this article on how to have a sustainable beach trip!
4. Support Those Who Are Cleaning Up
According to the Surfrider Foundation, there are currently over 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic floating in the ocean, weighing over 250,000 tons. As we touched upon in our plastic piece, our consumption of plastic is unacceptable and until we change our lifestyles, our Earth will continue to be overrun with plastics. Thanks to foundations like Surfrider, people are trying to clean up our oceans.
Thirty-four years ago, a group of surfers came together to try and protect Malibu from pollution and overdevelopment. Since then, Surfrider has been continuing to protect our beaches and oceans. Their work is varied and incredibly vital. From testing the ocean to ensure our waters are clean, cleaning up our beaches, preserving coastlines from deterioration, and protecting the ocean from offshore drilling. When you donate to Surfrider, you are directly helping to defend our precious oceans.
The Ocean Bottle is made from upcycled ocean-bound plastic, stainless steel, and for every bottle sold they fund the collection of 11.4kg of plastic (equivalent to 1000 plastic bottles) whilst investing in people-powered waste management.
5. Continue To Educate Yourself
The most simple thing that every one of us needs to do is continue to learn more about the issues our oceans are facing and the solutions. By educating ourselves we can have more meaningful and impactful conversations with others, to help those around us learn more too.
Some useful resources to check out:
Our REV podcast episode with Ocean Bottle.
Marine biologist, Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson.
A Plastic Ocean documentary.
Chasing Coral documentary.
The incredible work the EJF are doing for our oceans.