Looking after the ocean should be a bit of a no-brainer, right? We all know that we should be taking care of our waterways and looking after the conservation of our oceans and all of the creatures that live within them.
But there might be a few tips that you hadn’t thought of, and a few things you were guilty of that really aren’t great for our ocean and her dwellers. The truth is there is always a little more we could be doing. Let’s have a look at 10 easy eco-friendly tips you could follow in your everyday life to help protect the ocean.
Why does the ocean need protecting?
The oceans are massive, right, and flourishing? Why on earth would they need our help?
Oceans play a vital role in regulating our climate and feeding all of the people and creatures on the globe. Oceans represent the world’s largest store of carbon and help to create most of the air that we breathe as well as keeping temperatures across the globe even enough for life to thrive.
According to the World Wildlife Foundation:
“As the climate responds to decades of increasing carbon emissions, the store of energy and heat from the atmosphere builds up in the ocean. If we reach a tipping point, we will likely see more extreme weather events, changing ocean currents, rising sea levels and temperatures, and melting of sea ice and ice sheets—all of which aggravate the negative impacts of overfishing, illegal fishing, pollution, and habitat degradation”
Basically, the oceans are being threatened by a number of factors including:
- carbon emissions which cause climate change, raising the temperature of the ocean and the world
- the carbon makeup of the ocean is changing which is gradually killing off species of marine life and natural habits such as coral reefs
- they are also threatened by manmade rubbish and chemicals that make their way into the water.
10 Easy Eco-Friendly Tips to Help Protect our Oceans
Say No to Plastic Straws
In 2015, reports showed that we created and used over 300 million metric tonnes of plastic for that year.
One of the first steps to looking after our oceans is to say no to plastic whenever you can. Bring your reusable bags along when you do your grocery shop, and choose fruit and vegetables without packaging whenever you have the option.
Even little changes like saying no to plastic straws can make a difference, with this single change in your mindset starting a habit that can have ongoing effects.
Most plastic items like straws are designed for single-use only, to be used for a very brief time and then thrown away immediately. Something like a straw most people don’t even actually need and could easily do without.
Saying no starts your thought process off in the right direction, and you will find that you’re noticing more and more ways across the day that you can stop adding to the massive amount of plastic waste that we are responsible for.
Recycle your plastics
Less than 9% of the plastic used in the world every day gets recycled, with the rest ending up in a landfill or making its way into the ocean. This rubbish threatens marine life because they either eat the items or become entangled in them, and also helps to destroy natural habitats.
Some reports have predicted that by 2050 there will be more manmade rubbish in the ocean than marine life!
Saying no to plastic wherever possible is a good start, as then you don’t have plastic that you need to figure out how to get rid of. But if you are using plastic, and it is sometimes very hard to avoid, the next best thing you can do is be sure to recycle it.
You can put certain plastic items into your home recycling bin, depending on your local council. Larger stores such as Coles also have recycle bins at the front of the store for you to bring along old shopping bags, fruit wrapping, glad wrap and more.
Reducing rubbish is a great step, but saving or reusing water is also fantastic. Start by turning off your tap when brushing your teeth, and rinse dishes in a bucket in the sink rather than under running water. Take shorter showers, use reduced load sizes for your washing machine, and half-flushes whenever possible when using the toilet. Another trick is to pop a bucket in the shower while the water heats up, and use it to water your garden.
Use eco-friendly products in your drains
Many chemicals that go into commercially-made products don’t really agree with the natural environment and can poison waterways, animals, and plant life.
Look for green and eco-friendly products for use in your drains, including dishwashing and laundry chemicals and house cleaning products.
Also be careful about what you flush down your toilets, making sure that you dispose of hygiene products and nappies with consideration and only use flushable products in your toilet.
Switch chemicals for home remedies
You could also go one even better and make your own organic cleaning products with natural ingredients such as vinegar, baking soda, and essential oils.
Know where your seafood is sourced
Make sure that you source sustainably obtained seafood so that you know you are not supporting overfishing of our marine life. This includes the food you buy for yourself as well as the tinned food for your pets – cheap cat food can often be sourced without consideration to sustainability.
Pick up your rubbish
If you are spending a day at the beach, or in the park or any of our stunning national parklands, then for goodness sake, pick up after yourself. Be extra awesome and pick up anything you notice that other people may have dropped as well (be careful about sharps however, look after your hands as well as the environment).
Reduce your carbon footprint
Carbon emissions created through manufacturing processes, burning of fossil fuels and everyday transport like cars and airplanes are impacting on climate change which is immeasurably affecting our oceans.
Leave the car at home and walk or ride whenever you can. Buy locally sourced and fresh produce to reduce the carbon footprint made by producing, storing and transporting food to you from further away.
Reduce your energy use at home as well by switching off lights, turning air conditioners down a few degrees and investing in low-energy lightbulbs.
Be responsible when having fun
Make sure that when you have fun with watersports you do so with great respect for the ocean and the marine life within her. Practice responsible boating, jet skiing and kayaking activities by being aware of animals around you and never throw rubbish overboard.
If you are looking to take a cruise for your next holiday, check out companies which take extra efforts to be eco-friendly and look after our oceans as well.
Support organisations that protect our oceans
There are some incredible local and global organisations which work hard to protect our oceans and beaches, and to raise awareness of looking after our environments. You could donate to charities or even look into volunteering for organisations that work closer to your home.
We were recently involved in the #take3forthesea campaign with the goal of removing 1 million tonnes of plastic from our natural environent. You can read more via the insta post.
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Did you know 8 million tonnes of waste plastic enters our oceans every year. Sea creatures consume this plastic by mistake causing sickness, injury, starvation and often death. Beachside Collective is proud to be participating in Take 3 for the Sea, get down to your local beach, park, lake or any other area that has litter and pick up 3 pieces! Then you can tag a photo with #take3forthesea to raise awareness, or challenge your friends to take part in the challenge themselves. I’m going to challenge some fellow nature lovers who possibly get to the beach more than I do! @singlemothersurvivalguide @courtney_oxo @natzfa 💕🌊🌎 The ultimate goal is to remove 1 million pieces of rubbish with people power! #take3challenge #take3forthesea @take3forthesea
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