How lucky we are to experience beaches so clean and beautiful as this one in gorgeous Geographe Bay in Western Australia (see more here). But after the celebrations of World Ocean Day on June the 8th, I am reminded how much damage we humans have created. There is the hidden devastation of micro plastics & rubbish dumping in our oceans, not always easily seen from the surface. Even if our own local beaches seem unaffected, we know there is still so much to be done to improve the health of our oceans. Geographe Bay, for example, is a tiny part of the Indian Ocean, the second most polluted ocean in the world behind the North Pacific!
We are all reliant on our oceans; Oceans are the origin of drinking water, provide a food source for many humans and animal life, and generate oxygen – in fact between 50 - 85% of the oxygen in our atmosphere is produced by marine plants. The health of our oceans impacts everyone. If we band together, and all make small changes to our behaviour, we can make a difference to our help our oceans & marine life. Here are 5 ideas you can implement to help keep our oceans crystal clear;
5 Ways to Help Keep Our Ocean Clean
1) Say No to Single Use Plastics, as these items find their way into our waterways and oceans (especially straws!). By using reusable cutlery, straws, coffee cups etc you can help stem the flow of single-use plastic production and usage in our communities.
2) Stop the flow of litter! Simply take home all your rubbish & fishing line, or secure it in a bin where it won’t blow away into our waterways. And leave only your footprints on the sand...
3) Help clean up the beach. Take 3 For The Sea supports the simple idea that by picking up (at least!) 3 pieces of rubbish that you may find, you are helping to keep our beaches pristine and clean. Visit https://www.take3.org for more about their movement.
4) Avoid Microplastics, which when swallowed by marine life and ultimately threaten our entire marine eco system . Make sure your personal care products do not contain microbeads. Swap glitter for biodegradable alternatives. Avoid synthetic clothing, which shed plastic microfibres when washed, and then find their way into our waterways. And those eco-friendly microfibre cloths?…yep, they shed microfibres too. But don’t throw them away – instead, try using a microfibre filter bag when washing them, such as White Magic’s Microfibre Laundry Bag to capture shed fibres that can be disposed of in the bin, rather than washed away.
5) Give, Support & Volunteer! There are so many wonderful local environment & clean-up groups who value your support, and are making changes at grassroots level in your community. Try Coastcare or Conservation Volunteers Australia for local groups. Some of our favourite larger organisations include Australian Marine Conservation, Surfrider, and Tangaroa Blue.
It’s little things like these that go a long way towards honouring and conserving our oceans. I hope you find these easy ideas easy to implement into your life. See you at the beach!