What You Can Do to Help Our Earth and Oceans. It isn’t hard, it just requires a little thought and some education. With our shut down due to Covid-19 we are seeing how quickly the planet can respond to the lack of hurtful human activities. If only we could take the lesson and do better when “normal” life starts back up! Here are some suggestions to help you begin the journey of combatting the harm that plastic and pollution does to our planet. The first thing you can do to help our earth and oceans is to reduce single-use plastics by reusing grocery bags, saying no to plastic utensils and carry a water bottle instead of drinking bottled water.
¶ Don’t use plastic straws, they can hurt and kill wildlife. Carry your own biodegradable straws with you, or buy a stainless steel straw.
¶ Don’t support businesses that allow trade in illegal animal parts like shark fins, manta gill rakers, ivory, or horn. NEVER BUY ANYTHING WITH THESE ITEMS IN THEM.
¶Do not eat shark or shark fin soup. If we lose our sharks, our oceans will collapse. That seems overdramatic, right? But it is true. Sharks have been around for 450 million years. They are the apex predator (except for humans) in the ocean. They keep marine populations in balance. Sharks tend to eat the older, sicker, and slower members of a population, and that keeps populations healthier. By keeping fish populations in check, sharks protect other food sources in the ocean like grasses, plants, corals, mollusks, and more. The food web is a constant balancing act, and sharks are a keystone species, meaning that they must be in the ecosystem or that ecosystem will collapse. Sharks kill around 5 people a year. Humans slaughter 75 to 100 million sharks a year, mostly for their fins. Help our earth and oceans by not contributing to the slaughter of endangered species.
¶Only eat sustainable and responsibly fished seafood. How do you know what is okay to eat? Download the app, Seafood Watch, which is updated regularly by the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and when you go out to eat, check to see which seafoods on the menu are sustainably fished. If the fish is GREEN, it’s a go ahead and eat it! If the fish is YELLOW, it’s okay to eat, but better if you don’t. RED? Do not eat it! Please remember that it is the demand for the fish that drives overfishing. As Jane Goodall says, if all of us would make small, smart decisions, we would not have to worry about our precious planet.
PS: BE CAREFUL WITH SUNSCREEN! Only use ocean/reef friendly suncare with NO oxybenzone in it! Oxybenzone bleaches coral and is toxic to the ocean. Use only sunscreens and sun products without Oxybenzone. And be careful, some sunscreens say they are reef safe when they are not. Use zinc or mineral sunscreens, shampoos, and lotions if you will be in the ocean or in nature.
You can help our earth and oceans by starting with just 1 thing! Please do, and not just on Earth Day, but every day. #startwith1thing.