There are many things that you can do to lessen your negative impact on the environment and heighten your positive one, especially the underwater world. What you put on your skin, what you eat, what you drink out of, what organizations you support! It all comes back around! Even if you don’t live on the ocean or near a lake, what you put into the ground makes it way into our waters. Here are a few things for YOU to do to help protect our reefs!
- Use reef safe sunscreen such as, All Good, Stream2Sea, Salt & Stone, Babo Botanicals, and Raw Elements. Avoid sunscreens containing titanium dioxide, Oxybenzone and octinoxate, both a factor in coral bleaching, watch out for petrolatum as well which is more commonly called mineral oil.
- Choose sustainable seafood, be cautious about where it’s coming from and if its caught in a sustainable way! Check out this website full of information on hundreds of species of fish to learn how you can make smarter choices about eating seafood!
- When swimming in the ocean DO NOT touch anything! Reefs are extremely sensitive to the oils on our skin and touching them will harm and kill the reef!
- Be a marine advocate everyday! Don’t only pick up after yourself but take care of rubbish left behind by others.
- Be careful of the fertilizers used on your grass etc. Excess fertilizers get into run off waterways and over grow algae which can be extremely detrimental to the growth of coral and can harm freshwater lakes.
- Volunteer to clean up beaches and keep them protected!
- Practice boat safety, anchor up on sandy areas and away from reefs and sea grass areas!
Sharks are extremely important to our ecosystem and planet as a whole. It is our duty to protect them as they hold together the most crucial parts of our ecosystem. Being the top predator in the food chain they maintain the health and quality of the reefs and oceans! Here is a list of easy things for YOU to do to help save sharks!
- Learn as much as you can about sharks and your effect on sharks! Inform your friends and family about their importance! If you don’t know just how important they are check out my blog post Gentle Jaws!
- Do not use shark products. This one might be a no brainer but shark ends up in a lot more than you think! Beware when purchasing seafood as shark meat is labeled under misleading names such as Whitefish, Cazon, Dogfish, Flake, Huss, Rock Salmon and Cape Steak. Not only is shark meat sold in secret but shark cartilage and oil is sold in beauty products.
- Once again reducing your seafood/fish consumption will help sharks as they are a byproduct of commercial fishing. Sharks help the ecosystem by preying on hurt and weak fish which means they get trapped, tangled and killed in the nets fisherman use to catch fish. Lessening the demand of this will help keep sharks alive.
- If you see sharks getting abused or illegally hunted speak up about it. Whether that’s on social media or not, contact authorities and use your voice for the ones who can’t.
- Go diving with sharks! But make sure you are with a respectful conservation organization or company! The money dive shops make from eco-tourism helps fund conservation areas and keeps reefs healthy at the same time! Go diving in Fiji or go on a trip with Project Hiu to save sharks from the shark fishing industry in Indonesia!
- Write and call to your legislators, representatives and senators! Their job is to listen to your voice to make laws that help YOU! Meaning you can let them know you support bills that protect sharks against the fishing industry, illegally catching them and the selling of sharks.
- One of the main threats to sharks is plastic. Waste flows into the ocean at high rates, large discarded nets filled with plastic rubbish and other garbage makes it easy for sharks to mistake it for food. Many sharks have ended up on shore with stomachs filled with plastic. What you can do is reduce your use of plastic!
Plastic is one of the main threats to all living creatures in and out of the water. Even humans are impacted by plastic pollution. It surrounds our everyday life and consumes our oceans and lakes. Thousands of sharks, whales, fish, clams die from plastic pollution every year. Tackling this issue is much easier than you think, it doesn’t take perfection it takes everyone practicing to be better and to help our problem. Here’s a simple list of easy things to help solve our plastic problem.
- It only takes doing something 15 times before it becomes habit. Start by using your own reusable grocery bag when shopping, your own reusable coffee cup and bring your own take away containers when going out to eat. Start using beeswax wrap instead of plastic wrap. Watch how reliable you are on everyday products that can be changed into reusable ones.
- Making a bigger impact is to make your voice heard. Get the attention of big corporate companies to make changes! Email, tweet, send a letter, or just show up at the office and demand them to make more sustainable changes. Another way is to just stop buying from that company all together, put your money into a company that has already made those changes!
- Support the ban or tax of using a plastic bag! Let your legislators know that you’re fed up with seeing plastic bags wasted and you want change! Support grocery stores that already do that and let your voice be heard to make changes!
- Stop buying plastic water bottles. Just bring your own when you go out!! The amount of waste that comes from those plastic water bottles is absurd, about 20 billion plastic bottles are thrown in the trash each year.
- When ordering in or out or even just getting takeaway after eating out, bring your own reusable containers! Tell the restaurant that you don’t need any plastic cutlery and to hold back on the plastic bag.
- Learn to buy second hand, not only will it be better on your bank account but better for the planet! I’m not talking about just clothes but toys as well! New ones always come wrapped in too much wasteful plastic, same with buying new clothes.
- When purchasing food watch how many single use items your buying. Start going to food shops that support and offer bulk products instead of the single use plastics. Be aware of the packaging to food ratio when purchasing grocery items.
- And last but not least the most obvious one, RECYCLE. Let it be a habit, recycle as much as you can and REUSE as much as you can. Rethink your choices of buying plastic products, Refuse single use items, Reduce your plastic product consumption, Reuse literally EVERYTHING, Refurbish old items and turn them into new ones, Repair before you replace, Repurpose any items BEFORE you recycle. It’s so easy to make DIY’s out of anything! From old clothes to old books to old pots and pans! It all starts out with practice.