Yes, we can save our oceans (this is how you can help).
Updated: Aug 12, 2021
Aquatic animals and coral reefs are dying out at a catastrophic speed. But we can still save them.
What to consider...
“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.”
The above quote, typically assigned to Native American lore and wisdom, is one we'd do well to ponder these days, as scientists predict that by 2050 there may be more plastic in the ocean than fish.
Think about that for a moment.
Marine biologists estimate there are different 220,000 species, and TRILLIONS of individual fish. To think that there could be as much – or more – plastic floating around with them, is disgustingly frightening. Sadly, it's not actually surprising.
Our Facebook feeds constantly offer video evidence: a turtle with a plastic straw stuck in its little nose, dead whales whose stomachs were lined with plastic bags: birds with beer-pack plastic rings caught around their necks...the list goes on.
Our oceans annually suffer devastating oil spills, the Great Barrier Reef has lost huge swathes of its coral to pollutants from agriculture, industrialization and the warming of the seas' temperatures, while our unsustainable fishing practices have depleted the seas' aquatic-life to such dangerous levels that the old saying 'there are plenty more fish in the sea' is fast becoming redundant.
So what on earth, or in water are we to do??
Petition your leaders - we need to act on a global level to stop deterioration at such a rapid pace. Contacting corporations and local and national politicians and putting on the pressure is one important job we all need to do. We can create petitions, write letters (you know, those things that require a pen and paper) make phone calls, bug and pester those in the big offices to make changes.
Buy reusable water bottles - and use them! Cut back on all those single-use plastics; it's reckoned that a million plastic bottles are bought around the world every minute. Every. Minute. Get a good water-carrier (stainless steel is usually best) and a pretty reusable travel-mug and be organized. Most of the time if we're heading out for the day, we can bring these items from home and then there’s no need for plastic. And if you’re one for the sodas, replace them with the above-mentioned water… never mind the ocean, your teeth will definitely thank you for it.
Make a scene at the checkout - put the pressure on local companies and stores to find alternate sources to plastic. When paying at the checkout, ask if they can give you paper bags instead of plastic. Food containers, take-away coffee cups, goods packaging, soft-drinks bottles... many places now have biodegradable coffee cups, or wooden cutlery for take-out food, so it's definitely doable. If they're reluctant to make the effort, remind them that it's a massive selling point that may well generate more business long-term. The more people do this, the more businesses listen.
Spread the word - start sharing the news with friends and family, albeit gently! Many people simply aren't aware 1) how bad things actually are and 2) how easy it is for them to make small changes that can end up having a big impact. Share the facts and some of the ways in which people can easily switch from single-use plastic to reusable. But try doing it in such a way that doesn't make everyone hate you!
Don’t shout at people - I’m thinking of those aggressively annoying vegans that like to abuse anyone who isn't in their club... I'm vegetarian and sometimes they make me so mad it makes me want to eat a cow, you know?! So if you're passionate about sharing the message of saving our oceans, do it nicely! And while we're on the subject of veganism (we are now anyway) that's another thing that could have a hugely positive influence on our planet and oceans' health...
Eat less meat - don't look at me like that! I'm not suggesting we all live on lettuce and beans and almond milk. But we could all take some steps towards simply eating less fish and meat. If fish consumption decreased, the exploitation of the ocean’s reserves would equally be reduced. Eating more locally produced vegetables and fruits and grains is a simple, easy move that would not only improve the state of our oceans but, probably our own health too.
It's clear we need to act fast if we’re to rescue our precious oceans. I’ll leave you with another quote, originally from the Cree Indian prophecy, as a poignant reminder of why it’s so important that we do take better care of our beautiful planet...
“Only when the last tree has been cut down,
the last stream has been poisoned
and the last fish has been caught
will we realize that we can't eat money.”