Oceans cover 71 percent of the planet and are home to important species and ecosystems that we rely on for food, livelihoods, climate regulation and more. But the oceans need our help. Saving the oceans can sometimes feel like an overwhelming task, but if we all pitch in, we can make a big difference. Here are 10 lifestyle choices that – when adopted – can help protect and restore our oceans for future generations.
1. DEMAND PLASTIC-FREE ALTERNATIVES
The oceans face a massive and growing threat from plastics. An estimated 17.6 billion pounds of plastic leaks into the marine environment from land-based sources every year—that’s roughly equivalent to dumping a garbage truck full of plastic into our oceans every minute. And plastics never go away!
We must urge companies to provide consumers with plastic-free alternatives and say no to single use plastics such as straws, plastic cutlery, coffee cups, water bottles, plastic bags, balloons, plastic-wrapped produce and take-out food containers.
2. REDUCE YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT
Carbon dioxide, a known greenhouse gas, is making our oceans more acidic. This is contributing to the loss of corals on a global scale as their calcium skeletons are weakened by the increasing acidity of the water.
You can reduce your carbon footprint by adopting some of these simple measures:
• Ride a bike, walk or use public transportation rather than driving a car.
• Turn off the lights when you leave a room.
• Put on a sweater in the winter instead of turning up your thermostat.
• Have some fun with your diet – buy sustainably caught wild seafood. It is a renewable resource that requires minimal freshwater to produce and emits less carbon dioxide than land-based proteins like beef.