Well, World Oceans Day was yesterday… but it’s never too late to discuss the importance of oceans! Truly, every day we should be celebrating and respecting the environment in which we live, but it doesn’t hurt to have a day dedicated to oceans.
The oceans are an important part of our weather cycle. According to nature.org, oceans provide $21 TRILLION in goods and services. Cosmetics and medicine contain ingredients sourced from the ocean. Oceans provide jobs for us – fishing, aquatic sports and hobbies, life guards, etc. However, despite the ocean providing many resources for us, we continue to dump plastic, sewage, garbage, oil, and other pollutants into it. There is at least 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic in the ocean – and that is only an estimate! The tiny beads in your tooth paste and soap, the classic six-pack plastic rings, soda bottles and caps, and many more items are being dumped every day into the ocean. According to National Geographic, nearly every seabird on Earth is consuming plastic – they are mistaking it for food. Fish are also eating plastic and passing the potential contaminants up the food chain, which can make some species of fish very dangerous to eat (barring the fact that some are dangerous to eat on their own – looking at you fugu).
So what can we do about this? SO MANY THINGS. There are quite literally so many things we can do to clean up the oceans and environment.
-Reduce your waste: recycle everything you can, compost your food waste, use cloth bags, use reusable coffee cups, donate your clothing and shoes, repurpose items when possible
-Recycle: recycling starts at home – check with your local township or city to see how you can recycle at home. Encourage your place of employment to also recycle, if they aren’t already. Don’t let plastic end up in a turtle’s nose.
–Sustainable seafood: If you’re going to eat seafood and shellfish, make sure you know the source of your food and how it was caught.
Other useful information