Roughly 70 percent of our earth is covered by oceans. Why is this important? Because the earth’s oceans produce over 50 percent of the world’s oxygen and regulate the earth’s climate. They are essential to our health, and to our survival. They provide us with ingredients for everyday food that we love. Oceans also provide medicinal ingredients to help fight some terrible diseases. But some people don’t seem to understand the benefits we receive from the ocean. They don’t see the direct effects, so they don’t see it as an issue. They don’t see the microplastics being ingested by marine animals. They don’t realize that millions of people are employed by companies that rely on the ocean.
The oceans are more than a body of water, they’re a life source. Here’s what we can do to help protect our oceans:
1. Use Eco-Friendly Products
Products that are classified as eco-friendly are not only better for you, but better for the environment. By replacing your plastic shampoo bottles with shampoo bars, or using beeswax wrap instead of plastic wrap, you’re becoming part of the solution. Here are some eco-friendly products to add to your household:
Shampoo and conditioner bars
- Companies like Attitude and Jack 59 are great companies that offer shampoo and conditioner bars, along with other eco-friendly products. You can get bars that are suited for your hair type that smell good, last long, and are zero waste. You’ll create more room in your shower while helping the planet.
- This is something that many stores are pushing for customers to use, and it’s a great idea. Using products like Baggu will help you avoid unnecessary plastic bags. They can be reused over and over again. If you have trouble remembering to bring them, leave them in your car so you can remember to grab them on your way into the store.
- Not only is this product eco-friendly, but it’ll save you money as well. Beeswax wrap can last for upwards of a year. You just rinse in cold water and mild soap and allow it to dry. Beeswax wrap is also breathable, allowing your food to stay fresher longer. One of the best parts is that it’s biodegradable. So it not only saves you money, but it lowers your amount of waste.
Plastic-free soap bars, body scrubs, and deodorants…oh my!
- I’m bringing the company Attitude up again because they’ve taken a lot of initiative when it comes to being eco-friendly. Recently, they launched their plastic-free beauty line, and it’s fantastic. Not only do they have bars of soap that come in a plastic-free package, they also have plastic-free deodorant, sunscreen, lip balm, body soap, body scrub, and many more products. These products have no nasty ingredients either, which is an added bonus. I use their products daily, and let me tell you, the lemon scent is delicious.
2. Participate in a Shoreline Cleanup
Participate in a local shoreline clean-up, or start your own cleanup. Canadians have been volunteering with Ocean Wise Shoreline Cleanup to help clean our shores. This year alone volunteers have completed 648 shoreline cleanups, so why not join in? Their website offers plenty of resources and data on how to run and participate in a cleanup. They also have data on the “dirty dozen,” outlining the top 12 pieces of litter they found in the previous year. In 2021, the volunteers collected 146,614 cigarette butts. While that may be a small dent in saving the environment, it’s better than doing nothing.
There are many clean-ups to participate in around the world, and it’s a great way to get involved.
3. Spread the word
Social media is huge, especially for younger demographics. Share the eco-friendly products you use on your Instagram story or Tiktok. Educate yourself so you can educate your followers. Tell them why they should use plastic-free products, and how it’s going to not only save them money but help the environment. Sometimes all it takes is a quick product review on your social media page to convince somebody to try it out.
4. Lower your Carbon Footprint
This task is a bit harder but doable. Remember, you don’t need to go cold turkey and live off the land. A little bit goes a long way. Start by getting a compost bin and using it to put your scraps inside of. Or, make your own compost bin. You can compost many items other than food, too. Here’s a list of just some of the things you can compost:
- Coffee grounds
- Paper towels (as long as you didn’t wipe up any chemicals with it)
- Tea leaves
- Grass clippings
- Bedding from animals on a vegetarian diet (hamsters, rabbits, etc)
- Corn cobs
- Fruit and vegetable scraps
- Cardboard tampon applicators
- Leaves from houseplants
These are just a FEW things you can compost. Many items you use every day in your household can be composted. Some take longer to decompose than others, though, so make sure to do your research. Composting lowers the amount of garbage you’re sending to the landfill.
You could buy local products, and only buy what you need to avoid unnecessary waste. You could also walk or take a bike around town if you can, or carpool whenever possible. When you opt-in to walk instead of drive, you reduce emissions. If you drive, try and keep your windows open instead of turning the air conditioner on. If it’s a long drive, use the cruise control to limit the number of times you need to step on the gas.
Maybe switch to LED lights and make sure you keep them off when you don’t need them. Using natural light is just as good, and it’s free.
All of these suggestions are great ways to start lowering your carbon footprint and creating a better world. To get a better understanding of how big your carbon footprint is, go to this link.
It’s okay if you feel overwhelmed. But instead of shutting down and not thinking about it, use that feeling and do something about it. You don’t need to do everything all at once. Start with one thing at a time. Maybe make the choice to bring a reusable bag. While you’re at the store, maybe see what their plastic-free options are for different products. Take little steps. If everyone took the small steps needed, there would be a large impact on our oceans. Like I said before, we only have one earth. Let’s treat it with kindness.