June the 8th is World Ocean Day, a day to celebrate the sea and everything in it, as well as acknowledge the role it plays in the world as a whole.
Unfortunately, we haven’t always shown the seas the love and appreciation they deserve.
Industrial pollution, overfishing, rubbish, run off from land pollution and climate change are just some of the many things harming the oceans health.
A healthy ocean is essential for the well-being of the planet as well as every living thing on it, even those who don’t live by the sea.
Here are six ways we can clean up our act and ensure that the ocean, as well as its flora and fauna, remain healthy and thrive for many generations to come.
1. Use less plastic
It is estimated that there are 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris in the ocean[i] and over one million sea birds and 100,000 marine animals die annually from becoming entangled in or consuming plastic waste.
Plastic really isn’t that fantastic and we can no longer afford to ignore the issue.
The first thing we can do is to simply use less plastic.
This means bringing your own reusable bags to the supermarket, not buying bottled water and saying no to items with excessive plastic packaging.
There are many plastic free alternatives to everyday items including toothbrushes, toothpaste, cotton buds, deodorant, cosmetics, and dishwashing soap just to name a few.
Solid shampoos and conditioners are also popular with one bar of solid shampoo lasting as long as three plastic bottles of regular shampoo.
By switching to plastic free alternatives, you can help reduce consumer demand for plastic and stop it from making its way into our oceans.
Bringing a reusable coffee cup with you to work or when you’re out and about also has a huge impact, with Australians sending one billion takeaway cups to landfill every year.[ii]
You can find our range of stylish reusable coffee cups at https://causecups.com.au/collections/all with $3 from every sale going towards helping specially selected charities continue their wonderful work.
2. Pick it up
If you’re out walking at the park or at the beach and see a piece of litter, pick it up.
It is all too easy for that piece of rubbish to get washed down a drain or blow into a river and become a hazard for birds and other wildlife.
It only takes a few seconds to pick it up and pop it into the next bin you see and remember to wash your hands afterwards.
3. Use your voice
A few years ago, in my local area, there was a push for dedicated fishing line bins next to local fishing hotspots.
The sheer amount of discarded fishing line that was being left on the pier was falling into the water, causing sea birds and marine animals to get caught and die.
Thanks to those who spoke up, the council installed dedicated fishing line bins and there hasn’t been a problem since.
If you see something that needs changing, speak up.
We all have a voice and the more we use it to do good things, the planet, animals and humans will all be better off.
4. Eat sustainable seafood
Overfishing is a huge threat, not only to fish but to the ocean itself.
If a species is overfished to the point of not being able to repopulate, that species role in the ocean is eliminated, meaning there will be a chain reaction where everything is thrown out of whack.
The global fishing fleet is 2.5 times larger than what the oceans can sustainably support and 24% of fish species are overexploited or depleted.[iii]
There are plenty of resources available to help you choose more sustainable seafood options, and by making the switch you will ensure you’re not supporting companies who exploit fish populations.[iv]
5. Look but don't touch
Next time you’re enjoying a day at the beach, exploring the rockpools or going for a swim, be mindful of your actions.
These ecosystems can be very delicate so please don’t pick up any animals, disturb their rockpool homes or take home any shells.
Take only photos and leave only footprints in the sand.
If you do have plastic to dispose of, please dispose of it properly.
Check which plastics you can recycle with your local council as some only accept plastics numbered 1 and 2 (numbers can be found on the packaging).
If your council doesn’t recycle soft plastics such as chip packets ad cling wrap, take them to a Red Cycle bin at the supermarket.
Never discount any action, however small, as even the smallest actions go a long way in ensuring the ocean stays healthy, vibrant and full of life for millennia to come.
Cause Cups is committed to giving back to organisations who do amazing work in our communities.
If you would like to support Greenfleet and their wonderful environmental work, $3 from the sale of every one of our Environmental Cause Cups goes towards ensuring they can continue to make a positive difference.
You can check out our cups and the organisations we support by visiting https://causecups.com.au/products/ and remember, we all have the ability to make a difference through our everyday actions.