The oceans breathe for us (producing half the planet’s oxygen), provide for us (seafood is the primary source of food protein for over a billion people) and make us happy (unvalued but clearly priceless) – pretty wonderful, don’t you think? We need healthy oceans; it’s not an option. Helping to achieve that is not as removed from your every day actions as you might imagine. It starts with each of us, so put yourself in the picture starting today!
Here are ten free things you can change about your day, every day, that honor the world’s oceans. (P.S. you will save money and be contributing to a healthier planet for you and your children too).
1) Use water wisely: avoid vigorous faucet running, take short showers, save excess drinking water for the plants.
2) Turn everything off – any non-essential electronic item – and the temperature setting on your air conditioner up (or heat down) before you leave the house (or go to bed).
3) Save power; you reduce carbon dioxide emissions and slow ocean acidification. You can leave the dishwasher run until night-time (daytime hours are often peak electricity demand) or air dry a load of laundry for example.
4) Walk, bike, take the bus, or stretch out those precious gallons of gas by slow steady driving with a fairy-like light foot.
5) Forgo plastic; bags, bottles, packaging, take-out containers, straws. Take reusable items, be creative and be a role model.
6) Recycle. No excuses. It saves energy and demand for raw materials. And don’t forget to buy recycled products.
7) Lighten your chemical footprint. As Nemo says “All drains lead to the ocean.” Here are some ideas: properly dispose of expired medications, buy organic produce, switch to phosphate free laundry and dish soaps, ask your landscapers to eliminate or minimize their use of fertilizers.
8) Choose only sustainable seafood; check Seafood Watch and download an app. And make as many local food purchases as you can.
9) Pick up some litter – especially if you visit the beach.
10) Take a moment to appreciate the big blue. Read an ocean themed book with your kids, watch a documentary, check out some cool photos on-line, visit the seashore (or better still get wet) and just say: thank you!