While it may seem impossible to make change as one person, all while juggling school, work, and relationships; there are so many small ways to incorporate ocean conservation into your lifestyle – without drastically changing the way you live. For some, these methods may already be in use without you even knowing it! Many of these tips go hand-in-hand with sustainable living, which makes the argument that what we do on land affects the ocean as well. So while you many not live near the ocean, the choices you make can often heavily impact both environments at the same. If enough people make good choices, then making a difference becomes that much easier. Whether you’re waking up on oceanfront property, or in a rural area in the middle of the country, these tips will help you save the ocean, without cramping your style.
1.Use Fewer Plastic Products – More often than we probably even realize, we are using plastic materials. Whether it’s the 30 pack of Poland Spring sitting in our fridge,the leftover candy wrappers, or the Forever 21 bags laying around from that impulse shopping trip after pay-day, we are constantly in contact with plastics. Plastic is cheap to make and convenient to use, and when we’re finished with it we just throw it away and forget. However, plastic’s lifecycle doesn’t stop in the trash can.
By irresponsibly throwing away plastics, they can end up in the ocean, and can ultimately do a lot of damage to marine life. Sea turtles can mistake bags for jellyfish and ingest them,which can possibly kill them. Marine life can also become trapped in plastic materials like soda can rings, which can hinder them from moving, eating, or even breathing. By doing small things like switching to a glass reusable bottle, not only do you save money buying water bottles, but you are helping the environment by not circulating plastic. When shopping, bring a reusable tote bag, or canvas bag. This will reduce plastic circulation, and it might also help clean your room up in the process!
2.Be Mindful of your Seafood Intake – While seafood is often claimed to be a healthy part of one’s diet, and rich in omega 3’s, sometimes the fish we eat are actually species being depleted because they are in such high demand. It is also important to limit our Mercury intake in the process. There are many helpful and sustainable sites that can help you determine which fish are high in population, rich in omega 3’s, and low on Mercury. For example, stay away from fish like Marlin, Shark, Swordfish, and Tilefish. These are often referenced as “Big Game” fish and are usually overfished and high in mercury levels because they eat smaller fish and collect larger amounts of it in their system. For more information visit EWG.org’s Safe Guide to Seafood.
3. Be Clean Without Using Harmful Products – Even though you might not always have the time to clean, when it comes to be that time it is so easy to go crazy by spraying household cleaners to get the job done as quickly as possible. But you might be surprised to learn that while these cleaning products do their job, they are also very harmful and contain chemicals. Now there might be some of you that may wonder how your Windex is affecting the ocean. Well anything that goes down the drain, whether it is toilet cleaner, certain soaps, and any other chemical containing products, those chemicals are them transported through your sewer system and eventually end up back to its’ original source.
Instead of using mainstream off-the -shelf products, non-toxic products do just as well of a job and will probably cost you less. These products include baking soda, vinegar, and lemon juice. If that seems like too much work, ther are less harmful store-bought alternatives out there, which may cost you more, but may cost your planet and your ocean a lot less.
These tips are low maintenance methods that can improve the environment substantially! Try it out and see how simple it is!