World Ocean's Day is coming up on June 8th, and we'd really like to inspire you to take a few actions to make sure that our oceans, beaches, and marine life will be healthy for centuries to come!
I think we all know that the ocean is struggling right now. Our oceans are filling with plastic, coral is bleaching and dying, and fish stock is rapidly depleting.
I attended the Global Wave Conference last year and walked away with five of the biggest issues our oceans are facing and you can check them out here.
But, today, I don't want to talk about problems - I want to talk about solutions!
And, I really, really, REALLY want you to share these with your friends and family. I want you to challenge them to get involved in helping make our oceans a healthier place.
After all, who doesn't want to go on a beach vacation? And, do you want your beach vacation to be covered in plastic, trash, and dead fish or do you want to go on a beach vacation with clear beaches and a happy eco-system?
I'm guessing the latter so without further ado here are 8 ways you can help protect our seas!!
1. read that label, label:
Overfishing is one of the greatest threats to our oceans. So, one of the best ways to help out is to eliminate or drastically cut your consumption of fish.
Global fish populations are rapidly decreasing due to unsustainable fishing practices. If you are going to eat fish then look for the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) labels. Their blue and green fish logos ensure your fish can be traced back to sustainably-managed fisheries and farms.
Also, be sure to check out Seafood Watch which is part of the Monterey Bay Aquarium which will help you make sustainable seafood choices.
2. break up with your plastic:
Ok, you knew this one was coming! According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050 if we don't do something to stop it!
You already know that avoiding single-use plastics in your life is pretty easy. All it takes is a little bit of commitment, being prepared, and getting a teensy bit creative. If you're looking for a guide then be sure to check out our 31-Day Plastic Free Challenge!
The fastest way to clear the plastic from your bathroom is to stock up on our zero-waste, vegan essentials at Habitat by Pela.
3. check your sunscreen!
Did you know your sunscreen might be damaging the coral reefs? Yup.
And, don't think that it doesn't matter what sunscreen you use if you're not headed to the beach, because ANY drain you wash these chemicals down will eventually make their way out to the ocean.
These chemicals aren't filtered in our wastewater treatment plants so it's important that we opt for sunscreens without oxybenzone and octinoxate.
Instead, opt for reef safe sunscreens. Be sure to wear a hat when you're out, cover up with sleeves. If you want to stay extra safe stay in the shade, and spend time outside during the early and later hours when the sun isn't as intense.
4. shrink that footprint:
A lot of people forget, but our world is connected. Your burger affects the ocean. The new dress you buy affects the ocean.
Often when we think about making better choices for the ocean they are ocean-specific, but that's just not true. All of our choices are connected! It's important that you're making good ones.
The ocean is warming which is causing a lot of problems like lack of oxygen for fish populations and increased algae blooms. One of the best ways to help the ocean is to lower your carbon footprint.
If you're looking for ways to tackle that be sure to check out our guide 5 Tips for Lowering your Carbon Footprint.
5. donate, donate:
And, of course, donate to worthy causes! There are so many amazing organizations out there that are advocating for cleaner oceans. They help lobby for cleaner oceans and work with residents and governments to keep our seas healthy!
Some of our favorite organizations are Surfrider, Save the Waves and Oceana. In our shop, we have phone cases dedicated to each one where 5% of the sales go to supporting them. This is a win-win. You get a product you need AND get to donate to a cause that's close to your heart.