What can YOU do on this Earth Day to make the World a Better Place?

St Lucia’s Famous Pitons.

What can YOU do on this Earth Day to make the World a Better Place?

We all live on our beautiful planet, and humans sometimes forget that we are not the only life on the planet. We are the only species who can cause harm to our planet, though, and we have and continue to do so. The Earth is our home, our sustenance, and we depend upon her for everything. Would you treat your house the way humans have (and still do) treated the Earth? I certainly hope not. We are in a bit of pickle these days, and she needs all the assistance we can give her.

Here I am on a citizen science expedition, taking photo Identification shots of Manta Rays at the Revillagigedos.

We can all do something! It isn’t that hard. Plastic is one of the major ways we can make a difference. Plastic is choking our oceans, our wildlife is ingesting it, and dying from it. Fish really cannot help eating plastic. Much of it smells like food, after all. Fish, shellfish, oysters…they all ingest a lot of plastics. Did you know that one out of four fish has plastic in its tummy? That means plastic is in their tissues which has negative impacts for them…but what about humans? How much plastic are we consuming by eating fish and animals who eat plastic? One study says we could be consuming 11,000 plastics a year, through our seafood. What is the effect on humans? Well, it hurts fish, it stands to reason it isn’t good for us. Would you cook a piece of plastic for dinner and eat it? But we are consuming a lot of it through our foods.

What can YOU do?

CELEBRATE EARTH DAY BY TAKING ACTION Think of all the goods we can buy that are not plastic, but sustainable woods, plants and fibers. I use compostable K-cups for my Keurig. I’m very happy I don’t have to get rid of it because I love my coffee! Click this link and see some of the products you could purchase instead of plastics! I keep paper straws in my glove box, and bamboo utensils. And don’t forget to tell restaurants, no straw, no plastic forks! I get so mad at myself when I forget to do it.

TAKE THE PLEDGE! EarthDay.org is encouraging all of us to take a pledge to reduce our single use plastics. Say no to plastic grocery bags! Reduce your intake of bottled water…carry a water bottle you can refill. Have you seen the landfills and oceans filled with those plastic water bottles? Awful. By 2020 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish! That will not be good for humans, or fish.

MAKE A DONATION OR BUY A PRODUCT THAT BENEFITS RESEARCH AND EDUCATION There are many awesome organizations out there working hard to make our Earth a better place. Such as?

MEET THE OCEAN Meet the Ocean is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to educating the public on the importance of the saltwaters of our planet. Employing science, storytelling, and encounters from earth’s most remote locations, we combat environmental apathy and further understanding of how the ocean functions, in order to better protect it. They have a sweet shop filled with cool tees and art prints.

MARINE MEGAFAUNA FOUNDATION As a species, our survival is dependent on our oceans being healthy and full of life, yet only four percent of them are currently protected. This means that vast areas are left unregulated and vulnerable to ever-increasing human pressures such as unsustainable fishing, irresponsible waste management and climate change. This organization is active in research, protection and education. My book, ALL FISH FACES, available on Amazon and here on my author page, gives 10% to this organization to assist in its goals. I have traveled with these scientists and participated in citizen science. Support them!

TEENS4OCEANS Led by scientists, educators, and most importantly students, Teens4Oceans impacts youth, their peers, and their parents, by providing them with the tools and resources to become Ocean Stewards.

REEF REEF conserves marine environments worldwide. Our mission is to protect biodiversity and ocean life by actively engaging and inspiring the public through citizen science, education, and partnerships with the scientific community. REEF also takes the public on scuba citizen science trips, I have been on one and loved it! I have learned so much from REEF.

National Geographic has several charities like their Big Cat Initiative, there is World Wildlife Fund, Sea Shepherds, the list is endless. If none of these appeal to you, I’m sure you can find another that will!

REEF Survey Team 2015 St Lucia

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Tam Warner

Award Winning Travel Journalist and Blogger, writing about Eclectic Travels in the Empty Nest! From scuba to luxury cruises to kayaking to expeditions, Tam is ready to go! Contact me at travelswithtam@gmail.com

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Tam Warner

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