September 20, 2018
Each and every year, over a million birds and over 100,000 aquatic mammals and sea turtles die due to being ensnared in, or ingesting plastic and other waste.
This is compounded by the fact that roughly 14 billion pounds of trash is being dumped into the world’s oceans annually.
Our carelessness causes major issues for wildlife. There are so many ways we can improve these conditions in our every day life.
If sea creatures ingest trash (plastic bags, straws, bottles, etc.) or get ensnared (rope, 6 pack rings, etc.) in it, they will likely choke to death, or otherwise starve because they are stuck and can no longer move. This can lower the population of many species to unmanageable levels, and can cause many species to become extinct outright.
When garbage is dumped into the oceans, intentionally or not, it often piles up in specific places such as the Pacific Garbage Patch . Here, the sun’s rays can break down the garbage, but it still has nowhere to go, causing a layer of garbage-based sludge to appear on the top of the oceans and be seen for miles.
It’s not just trash either. Many things that humans do, from increasing our carbon footprint, eating fish caught in unsustainable ways, to even our voting habits, can harm the oceans and the beautiful creatures that are in it. With the level of destruction that the oceans are currently facing, many experts believe that they do not have long before the ocean itself is irreparably damaged.
However, this doesn't have to be the case. With a few tips, you can easily lower the amount harm that you are doing to the oceans. These are a few things that are both easy to do and can benefit the oceans for years, or maybe even decades, to come. So what can you do to help the world’s oceans?
If you decide to eat fish, eat fish from sustainable sources.
Global fish populations are declining at an alarming rate. A lot of this has to do with the loss of habitat, high demand, and unsustainable fishing habits by companies who care more about their bottom line than the well-being of the planet. So how would you going about in making sure that the fish that you consume were sustainably sourced?
Well, the first thing you can do is to see if the package says anything about being “line caught.” Alternatively, many products will tell you directly if the fish was sustainable caught or sourced. These may be harder to find, and potentially more expensive, but it will be worth it in the long run.
You should also not feel as if you have to eat fish for your health or well-being. You can get the same nutrients found in fish in other (preferably plant-based) sources. So if you are eating fish simply because you believe it is the best option for you, you can rest assured that it isn't necessary.
This may seem to be a bit taboo for those who try to steer clear of politics, but the name you check off at the ballot helps. Elected representatives play a major role on what policies get introduced into law and which ones stay out. For instance, an elected official may create a law that prevents people from even complaining about the pollution that they cause.
In many cases, a politician can easily work against the best interests of the majority in order to cater to large businesses, who make their money through the destruction of the planet. So when picking who to vote on this next election cycle, be sure that you are choosing people who want to protect the planet.
Over 8 million tons of plastic makes its way to the oceans on a yearly basis. Many of this is either blown off from landfills, tossed there by companies, or are left at the beach or tossed off of ships. This can become a major issue if the wildlife swallows it and chokes, or otherwise becomes injured or ensnared in the trash.
For instance, a lot of what is tossed into the oceans are plastic bags, which can look like a jellyfish to a passing sea turtle. The turtle then swallows the plastic bag, and eventually chokes to death or else dies due to their digestive system becoming clogged.
So one way in which you can help is by reducing or even eliminating the amount of plastic that you use on a daily basis. This is fairly easy to do, as you can either buy food in bulk and carry them in paper bags, or even bring cloth tote bags to stores instead of using their plastic ones. Using a reusable straw instead of a plastic one can be great as well. Every little bit helps to prevent the amount of trash that eventually winds up in the water.
Traveling is one thing that us humans love to do, however, when we are on vacation or traveling for business, we can still do some things to help out the environment.
For instance, when traveling by boat many people toss their trash into the oceans. This can be disposable cups, or glass drinking bottles, etc. Either way, it pollutes the oceans and can cause serious issues if it gets into contact with the native wildlife. Recently, a turtle was shown on video with a reusable straw stuck up its nose. There is more that we can do as a people to stop this.
We have all heard about Climate Change as of now I hope. One of the effects of the increased carbon output by humans is the way that it effects the oceans as a whole.
Oceans are able to absorb up to 90% of the excess carbon that is being produced by humans, but this also comes at a cost to the marine life and the oceanic environment. This is because the excess carbon makes the waters warmer and more acidic, which can drive away some species of fish, or even outright harm some species, like coral reefs, which are highly prone to temperature changes.
However, it is not too hard to find ways to help from home. For example, use florescent or energy-efficient light bulbs instead of incandescent ones. You can also turn off any appliances that you are not using, and, of course, turn the lights off as you leave the room.
One great way to help while also getting some exercise in, is by taking every chance you have available to walk or ride a bike to get wherever you need to go, instead of using a car. This not only helps the oceans, but is good for the body.
The best way to make sure that you are able to help the oceans is to be knowledgeable of the creatures that live in it, as well as the environment in which they live. This also helps you to be able to fully understand the issue yourself, so you will be a better advocate.
It is far easier to explain all of what is happening to others in a precise and easy to follow way if you are knowledgeable of the topic and the terminology yourself.
Dive into our blog, or pick up a book, and most importantly take action.
You can help to save the world.
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