For those living in the Southern Hemisphere the warm weather has well and truly arrived and with summer officially just a few short weeks away we wanted to talk about ways to be conscious and considerate of our big beautiful oceans these warmer months.
Here’s how you can help to protect, and give back, to our oceans this summer and beyond:
1. Take 3 For The Sea
Based on the principle that small acts on a large scale will create a difference, the Take 3 For The Sea initiative simply involves removing three pieces of rubbish from the beach or waterway every time you visit these locations. You can up your activism by posting on social media with the hashtag #take3forthesea and encourage others to do the same.
2. Attend beach clean-ups
Further to Take 3 For The Sea, sign up for your local beach clean up (or organise one yourself with friends) and make a difference on a larger scale. Clean Up Australia is a great resource for locating clean up events near you and there’s also Ocean Conservancy‘s annual International Coastal Cleanup if you want to take part in the world’s largest beach clean-up event.
A beach clean-up can be held on the sand and beach areas or in the water with a Strawkle expedition (short for snorkelling for straws and other rubbish in the water). Operation Straw is a clean up initiative in Manly, NSW (Australia) that regularly hold Strawkling days.
3. Wear reef-safe sunscreen
We’ve long known the importance of sunscreen for protecting ourselves against the harsh sun however it’s only in recent years that scientists have looked at the impact of sunscreen on our oceans and in particular our coral reefs and marine life.
Reef safe sunscreens are different than normal sunscreens as they typically remove two sunscreen filters, octinoxate and oxybenzone; chemicals that cause damage to coral reefs and ocean life. We’ve rounded up some useful ocean-friendly and reef-safe sunscreen brands for you to choose from in this post.
4. Make sustainable seafood choices
Greenpeace determine whether fishing is sustainable and responsible by focussing on two things: through the method used to catch the fish and also by considering the health of the fish and seafood population and its availability. Look for brands and restaurants that are transparent about their fishing production and are actively giving back for a sustainable future. Download the GoodFish Sustainable Seafood Guide app as it’s a great resource that also includes information on food labelling.
5. Choose eco-friendly swimwear
Being ocean-conscious also extends to our wardrobe. Choosing swim and surf wear that’s made from eco-friendly fabrications, considers environmental impact and is ethically-made will make you an ocean hero and not an eco hypocrite. Check out these wonderful Australian swimwear labels that offer stylish and sustainable swimwear.
6. Donate to conservation efforts
Be proactive in supporting marine conservation efforts. Sign petitions, donate to marine rehabilitation efforts and conservation, vote and support legislators and environmental laws that protect the ocean and the environment.
7. Educate yourself
To understand why your conscious efforts are so important, educate yourself on the current situation. There are some amazing documentaries that cover our impact on the ocean like Protecting Paradise, Blue, A Plastic Ocean and Chasing Coral. For something more uplifting you can always opt for David Attenborough’s The Blue Planet to inspire you to protect our beautiful ocean life.
8. Reduce your plastic use
Reducing and eliminating single use plastic while enjoying our oceans can make a significant difference, (watching the above documentaries will open your eyes to the extent of damage plastic creates for our oceans). If you’re planning to eat at the beach prepare ahead with your own reusable cutlery, even better bring your own containers for any takeaway purchases or pack your own snacks. Be accountable for any rubbish you do create and dispose of it responsibly when you leave.
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- Which Textile Fibres Cause Microplastic Pollution When Washed? Here’s What the Studies Reveal So Far…
- New Report from Change.org Reveals Best Practices for Social Activists
Feature image by Shifaaz Shamoon/Unsplash.