Summer is almost here and millions of people are going to the most beautiful beaches in the world to relax in the afternoon sun and swim in the sea. Our beaches and oceans are a natural wonder that you should take advantage of. But they are also confronted with an environmental crisis. From tons of plastic to carbon emissions and household chemicals entering our waterways, the dangers to marine life are increasing.
In honor of World Environment Health Day on September 26, it is important to realize that it is not enough just to enjoy our waters oceans – we must also keep them clean and actively protected. And here are 1
. 1 Educate yourself.
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It's difficult to cleanse the sea without knowing why and how it's ever polluted. So the first step is to get information. Go online, shoot a documentary or get a book from the library – there are countless ways to get to know the sea without leaving the couch.
Learn how your plastic water bottle turns in the sea at first, or how the oil from your engine can get through the sewer and into nearby waters. You can even learn about less known forms of pollution – did you know that even underwater noise can kill marine life? The best way to start your advocacy of the oceans is to know how and why.
. 2 Reduce the plastic consumption.
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There are many reasons to reduce plastic consumption, but if you want to do your part for the ocean, that's doubly important. To put it in a sobering perspective, it's possible that around 8 million tonnes of plastic will enter our oceans each year, damaging plant life, water quality and marine life around the world. To explain this in more detail: Every day in Los Angeles about 10 tons of plastic fragments arrive in the Pacific.
Disposable plastics are among the most wasteful, but are also the easiest way to make changes to your lifestyle. Switch to returnable bottles, which you can replenish over and over again instead of buying one-use plastic water bottles in bulk. There is also a movement between cities, countries and certain restaurant chains to get rid of plastic straws, bags, utensils and other smaller plastic items that can easily be exchanged for something more sustainable. Make this change in your own home too.
. 3 Hold companies accountable.
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It's not just individual consumers who have to pay attention to their plastic consumption, but also local restaurants and global businesses. Find out which companies and businesses are using best practices in packaging and plastics use and which are not.
If you think your local takeaway or local café is overly lavish, tell them. (Also tell them you do not need plastic utensils or paper napkins if you want to eat at home or in the office.) If you have problems with a larger chain, contact them in social media or write an e-mail , Then you can dig deeper. Harmful microspheres are banned in the US [PDF] because of their impact on the oceans, but what about other countries? And are the products you use really free from them? Find out because while you may be practicing clean habits in the sea, the companies you buy can not.
. 4 Watch out for chemicals in your gardens and on your lawn.
Pesticides, fertilizers, weed killers – three things that are ubiquitous on lawns and gardens all over the world can be very damaging to our oceans. Pesticides and weed killers use hazardous chemicals, and although your plants and your garden can benefit, these chemicals can easily enter our water systems. And if you live close enough to an ocean, they will probably end up there.
Fertilizers have an interesting impact on the ecosystem. The excess nutrients can be transported by rain and wind to different water systems. In rivers, lakes, streams and oceans, these nutrients can support the growth of algae in an unnatural way. When this happens, the algae's natural toxins can not only poison life in the sea, but the algae themselves can consume the oxygen in certain areas of the water so that nothing else can survive. These areas are called "dead zones". The approximately 500 areas around the world cover an area of 245,000 square kilometers (roughly the size of Great Britain). Fortunately, there are ways to have and maintain a garden without polluting the environment.
. 5 Recognize the damage of each garbage.
Picking yourself up on the beach should be self-evident, but look around the water next time – obviously someone did not get the memo. Litter bottles, cans, bags, and napkins can be ubiquitous along the waterways, and even a single piece of garbage can be a problem. This garbage can be picked up by the wind, caught around the necks of birds and other animals, and carried by the tides on the sea.
Blame everyone in your group for their disorder, and if you find rubbish that's not yours, take it anyway and throw it away. This plastic bag or discarded beverage can is an immediate threat to any marine species that might get caught up in it.
. 6 Take time to clean up.
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It's great to collect garbage during a beach vacation, but you can also organize your own cleanup in your community if you live near an ocean. First, talk to local politicians and community groups to see if any efforts have been made to cleanse the oceans in your area. If not, go through these channels to organize one. This is a great way to encourage the citizens in your area – including friends, strangers and local schools – to beautify the area and promote positive habits when it comes to maintaining a cleaner ocean.
. 7 Donate for an ocean charity.
Not everyone lives near an ocean to do the legwork, but a simple donation can do a lot. Research charities in your state or across the country to help clean the ocean and see if they can raise funds or collect cleanup supplies, research efforts, conservation groups, and educational foundations.
. 8 Watch what you wash.
In the past, medicines have been discovered in groundwater and in the sea that may have been left behind after rinsing in water systems. And in a 154-square-meter section of the Thames, 4,500 wet wipes were found in 2017 – a byproduct of a bathroom that does not break when you rinse, as you might think.
These are just two examples of products These are often flushed or poured into a drain without thinking, but over time they can accumulate and pollute local waters, soil and oceans. Cotton balls, dental floss, cat litter, insecticides, vegetable oil, paint – this is just a snapshot of products that are harmful to oceans and marine animals when flushed. So next time you open the toilet lid to dispose of an aggressive detergent, make sure it's safe.
. 9 Save water.
Any water you use in your home will later be sent to a WWTP [PDF] where the pollutants will be removed before returning to the local water facilities. Not only do the problems occur when purging harmful products and chemicals, but also when we are simply using too much of the available water.
As the Surfrider Foundation points out, excess water in these treatment plants can overwhelm the systems – many of which are already older, causing pollutants to reach and find their way into oceans, rivers, streams, etc. To make your contribution, you simply save the water consumption in your household. Take a shower, do not run rinses, and avoid unnecessary activities such as washing your car for an extended period of time.
10th Do not throw anything overboard.
Whether you're on a cruise or fishing on a lake, remember what you leave behind. Never throw garbage overboard, even if you think it's harmless, like a stray fishing hook or a string or something small like a spent piece of gum or a cigarette butt. Any foreign object that enters a waterway has a rippling effect, and as a result, these tiny objects often accumulate into a major problem for the local ecosystem. Encourage your fellow human beings to be equally alert and take proactive steps to ensure that garbage and recycling bins are on board during your journey.
. 11 Watch what you eat.
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Being a responsible seafood consumer is an essential part of protecting the sea and knowing which fish you eat and where it comes from is a big part of it. Familiarize yourself with the fish you bought and where it was caught when you choose your next meal, and ask your local supermarket chain or local restaurant if the seafood selection was ethically managed the ocean's ecosystem protects and does not pollute the water.
12th Contact your elected officials.
What is your state representative or governor on marine pollution and ocean conservation? Is your state considering offshore drilling that could lead to accidents that affect the environment? Find out what the politicians in your state are doing against the environment, and see if it's a plan that will provide a cleaner ocean for future generations.
If your state is in a good position, ask if it is possible to volunteer to help realize the goals of your elected officials. If your state does not do enough for the oceans, write letters and get in touch with elected representatives and local environmental NGOs. For example, the Pacific Fishery Management Council has recently decided to protect some 200,000 square kilometers of the ocean from bottom trawls to prevent commercial fishing nets from damaging the coral and rocky reefs in the area. According to The Pew Charitable Trusts, which was also involved, this vote was the result of five years of research and lobbying by environmental organizations and charities and thousands of letters from activists and concerned citizens.
. 13 Keep up with the latest environmental news.
The care of oceans and waterways requires vigilance. Find out about the latest products that have been classified as harmful to the sea or the environment (such as this recent study on why black plastic can not be recycled in the same way as other plastics). Look out for any environmental tragedy, such as an oil spill or tropical storm near you that requires cleansing. and be sure that you are aware of organized rallies or fundraisers that you can attend.
fourteenth Understand your carbon footprint.
Carbon dioxide is not only responsible for air pollution but also reaches the ocean. In fact, about one third of human CO2 is released into the ocean, which equates to about 22 million tons per day. This can lead to acidification of the water, which has an effect on the health of the marine animals living there, especially peeled animals.
It is important to take stock of your own carbon footprint, and this is all the more urgent if you think about the impact it has on everything. Climate change is all linked to a danger that leads to another that leads to another, and so on. See how your energy habits can be more sustainable for the environment, and make some urgently needed adjustments. It can be helpful to simply drive less, buy energy efficient lamps and appliances, and use less disposable items.
15th Share what you know with friends and family.
Do not keep this knowledge to yourself! Tell friends and family about some of the key facts the next time you're on the beach or in a seafood restaurant. Ask them to clean up with you and encourage them to look for their own carbon footprint. Your enthusiasm for healthy oceans and environments could be contagious, and you might soon find a network of like-minded people who want to make a difference.