Our oceans are a vital part of a healthy eco-system, and every little step we take towards a greener lifestyle is a step toward cleaner oceans. We’ve put together a top-ten list of things you can do to help keep our oceans cleaner and our earth greener.
Contact your representatives from local to national levels and let them know how important good ocean policy is to you. Exercise your right to vote and stay involved all year long.
- Eat sustainable seafood
Keep up to date on sustainable seafood (there’s an app for that!) and ask questions at restaurants and the fish market. Look for terms like “line caught”, “diver caught”, “sustainably caught” or “sustainably harvested”.
- Reduce plastic throw-aways
Plastic debris in the ocean degrades marine habitats, and because floating debris often resembles food, it can cause choking or malnutrition in marine birds, sea turtles and marine mammals. Switch to reusable plastics, give up the plastic grocery bags and keep plastics out of the waste stream.
- Pick up trash
That plastic debris comes from somewhere, and most of it washes into the ocean as litter from beaches or upstream in rivers. If you spend a day at the shore, or along the banks, bring along a trash bag and contribute to the clean-up efforts.
- Reduce energy use
Carbon dioxide has a negative impact on our oceans, making them more acidic, reducing coral growth and more. Take steps to reduce your carbon footprint.
- Handle with care
Don’t toss hazardous materials into the trash. Things like motor oil, batteries and other hazardous waste need to be disposed of properly to avoid polluting the waterways.
- Fertilize less
Fertilizers are picked up by rain water and carried downstream, eventually finding their way into the ocean, resulting in areas of low oxygen levels in the water. Reduce your fertilizer use, and switch to more environmentally friendly fertilizer choices (like compost).
- Buy ocean friendly
Choose sustainable products – they’re good for the entire eco-system, including our oceans. Using your consumer power is one sure way to have big impact on global practices.
- Tell a friend
Spread the word, the more people who are doing the same things, the greater the positive impact will be.
- Join an ocean-focused organization
Oceana is the largest international organization focused 100% on ocean conservation. Also look to local groups like the Waterkeeper Alliance.