5 Ways to Help Keep Our Oceans Clean

Earth is dying, and we could easily blame plastic straws or our grandparent's generation for not thinking about the planet’s future, but blame isn’t going to do anyone any good. The only thing we can do to help preserve our planet is by doing our part to keep it clean.  One place that needs to be kept clean more than anything else is our oceans.

It’s not hard to do your part; Here are five easy ways that you can keep the ocean clean, even if you don’t live anywhere near it.

Reduce the Amount of Plastic That You Use

Sixty to ninety percent of debris in the ocean is made up of plastic, it may break down into smaller pieces but it never decomposes and will never go away. There may be around 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic floating in the ocean, weighing up to 593,043,485 pounds, according to Surfers Against Sewage. That weighs more than 1,976 blue whales, the largest animal on earth which can weigh up to 300,000 pounds. There are simple and effective ways to reduce your plastic consumption; use a reusable water bottle, use canvas shopping bags, use reusable food storage methods, bring your own mug or thermos to the coffee shop and buy drinks that don’t come in those plastic rings.

Photo Courtesy of Surfers Against Sewage

Make Sustainable Seafood Choices

Overfishing is a global problem, and the fish population is rapidly depleting due to unsustainable fishing and habitat destruction. If you want to know which fish are currently unsustainable to eat you can download a sustainable seafood guide or check out websites such as Oceana and National Geographic for tools to help you select what fish you should and shouldn’t eat.

Image Courtesy of Oceana

Cut Carbon

According to Mental Floss, one-third of man-made carbon makes its way into the ocean, which is approximately 44 billion pounds of carbon a day. The blanket of carbon dioxide that has been forming in the Earth’s atmosphere for years also acts like a greenhouse and has been warming up our oceans and making them more acidic which is taking a toll on marine wildlife, according to the Smithsonian. Reducing your carbon footprint is easy; you can carpool, drive less, use energy efficient light bulbs and reduce the amount of energy you use. To find out more ways that you can reduce your carbon footprint check out this Her Campus article

Photo Courtesy of New York Post

Be A Conscious Buyer

We all love getting souvenirs when we go on a trip, but buying the wrong thing can impact ocean wildlife, especially if it’s jewelry. Jewelry that contains shells, coral or has any marine wildlife attachment like a shark tooth necklace. Habitats are destroyed for these types of products, and by not buying these products you’re making a conscious effort to help preserve these habitats for marine wildlife.

Photo Courtesy of Blue Ocean Network

Be Water Wise

All the water on Earth is connected. Even if you’re completely landlocked the water you use has to come from somewhere and it ends up somewhere, which is right back into the oceans. Conserve the water that you use and be mindful about what you flush because flushing your pills or anything toxic end up back into the ocean to harm wildlife.

Photo Courtesy of Ocean Conservancy

There are so many ways that you can keep our oceans clean. On your beach trips you can bring trash bags and clean up litter to prevent it from being washed away by the tide. You can also donate to one of the many charities like Oceana that’s sole purpose is to save marine wildlife and help clean our oceans.

The best thing you can do for our oceans is to remain conscious about everything you do and don’t get discouraged because you’re one person trying to change the world. Share these tips with friends and family and hopefully one day we will all work together to keep our beautiful planet clean so it lasts for future generations.