Today is World Oceans Day, a day dedicated to the wondrous oceans that make up almost 71% of the Earth’s surface. The ocean has more biodiversity than any other ecosystem on Earth and provides half of the world’s oxygen.
This year’s theme is “Innovation for a Sustainable Ocean”. The UN is urging people to help to reverse the impact humans have had on our oceans, such as pollution, over-fishing and climate change. We need to make changes to our lifestyles so that the ocean has a chance to become a sustainable resource once again, among other things this will aid in alleviating poverty and hunger. The ocean provides a multitude of different services, but we are over exploiting our resources, and we all need to play our part in order to change this.
Ecosystems work as a chain reaction, everything within the system has a purpose and when everything works together the system is balanced. Unfortunately humans have caused an imbalance within the ocean systems and the effects are tangible. Coral reefs are being bleached due to increased ocean temperatures and acidity, hundreds of thousands of marine mammals and birds are dying from plastic pollution consumption and there are dead zones caused by excess fertiliser being washed into the sea.
Everyone can contribute to conserving the ocean’s health and sustainability, especially on World Oceans Day. All it requires is awareness and action.
1) Be aware of how much plastic you use and avoid using plastics unnecessarily. Opt for metal or bamboo straws that can be reused. Use material bags (recycled material is ideal) to carry groceries. Use eco-friendly reusable bags for your fruits and vegetables. Where you can, reuse and recycle your plastics, as well as other trash.
2) Consider the sustainability of the seafood you consume. Avoid the species which aren’t sustainable and consider the bycatch. This also applies to the use of marine species in the manufacture of cosmetic and fashion products. Use eco-friendly products.
3) Seek out and support new innovations that aim to make the oceans cleaner. Innovative ideas such as edible or biodegradable packaging, marine friendly eco-blocks and seabins are already making a difference. Opt for eco-friendly cleaning products.
4) Participate in your local beach clean-ups on a regular basis, or start a beach clean-up campaign yourself. Please remember only to do so if permitted, especially during the current Covid-19 pandemic.
For more information have a look at the following websites: