The Earth is called the blue planet for a reason. The blue oceans cover more than 70 percent of Earth’s surface and about 97 percent of Earth’s water is in the ocean. That sure is a lot of blue around us.
Unfortunately, the oceans have suffered a lot in the past few decades due to inconsiderate human activities. It’s time we buck up and do something about it, even if it’s #OneSmallStep.
If you are already conscious about keeping the beach clean and not littering whenever you visit it, great job. Here are everyday things you can do to protect the oceans so that kids of tomorrow can enjoy the oceans the way we did.
- Stop using single-use, unrecyclable plastic bags
Plastic pollution has to be the biggest threat to the oceans. No matter how far you’re from the ocean, if you use single-use plastic once, it will find itself in the ocean at some point. Putting sea life at risk by using single-use plastic bags seems unfair.
Switch to cloth bags for shopping. They not only look cool but ensure that the next time you go swimming in the ocean or scuba-diving, you come across beautiful ocean life and not plastic.
- Ditch plastic straws
We have seen and heard the news of aqua life choking on plastic straws. Straws rolling around the beaches is also a common sight.
Choosing reusable straws will minimize your plastic waste contribution and up your cool quotient wherever you use them! Just pop them in your bag and use them any place, any time.
- Say no to bottled water
Here’s one hard-hitting fact: we’re dumping 40 million plastic water bottles per day. That’s right, in just one day! Hundreds of thousands of marine animals die by ingesting these bottles and choking on the bottle caps. Sure, bottled water may be convenient but it comes at a heavy price.
Start using reusable water bottles. They are easy to maintain and carry. And the marine life will thank you.
- Buy ocean-friendly cosmetics
Your favourite red lipstick, sunscreen, and even shampoo may be indirectly harming the ocean. They contain harmful chemicals which get washed off either when we swim in the ocean or in our showers, which eventually lead back to the ocean.
Look at the labels and ensure none of the ingredients are harmful to the water. If you aren’t sure, look for vegan cosmetics which contain natural ingredients which don’t harm the ocean.
- Switch to cloth diapers
Did you know that diaper pollution is an actual thing? The amount of diaper waste being generated in countries across the globe has reached an alarming level of concern. A study found that a child needs about 6,000 to 10,000 disposable diapers before they are completely toilet trained. It’s unfathomable to even guess how many billions of tons of dirty diapers make it to the ocean!
Cloth or reusable diapers are not just good for the planet but are also gentler on the baby’s skin.
Similar to diaper pollution, sanitary napkin pollution is a huge culprit, and switching to eco-friendly options is the need of the hour.
- Be wary of microbeads
Ever looked at that refreshing shower gel that has shiny, colourful globes suspended in the liquid? Those ‘exfoliants’ or ‘freshness bursts’ or whatever they are claimed to be are actually microbeads which are plastic particles less than 5mm in diameter that do not dissolve in water. They have a damaging effect on marine life as their composition allows them to adsorb toxins that transfer up the marine food chain. They will eventually enter the human system as well.
That’s a huge reason to leave anything containing microbeads out of our shopping lists.
This World Ocean Day, let’s make a commitment to make one change that will benefit the ocean in the long run.