This article is part of the 4sea Project
Have you ever seen the devastating pictures of beaches covered in garbage, so that you couldn’t even recognize the beach as a beach anymore, or videos of animals with their bellies full of plastic? Have you ever heard of drowning islands due to rising sea levels or dying coral reefs? And have you ever asked yourself what you can do to fight against all these problems? Or are you already running through life with a superman costume as blue as the ocean saving the sea?
In light of the World Oceans Day today and the UN Oceans Conference that is currently taking place in New York 4Sea wants to celebrate all Ocean Heroes: This is your day! But Ocean Heroes will never leave anyone behind. If you are willing to join the community, here you go in 5 every-day steps:
Reduce your trash, do not litter and Recycle!
Don’t buy products where every little piece is wrapped in 5 layers of plastic. Maybe even try to avoid plastic at all. I know it’s hard, but if you are aware of this problem and have a look out for unwrapped things you might be able to find something. Some supermarkets have started to use a bioprint directly on fruits and vegetables to avoid plastic wrapping. If you think your supermarket uses too much plastic, make sure your opinion is heard and start unwrapping your products after you bought them and leave the garbage in the waste bins of the store. If a lot of people are doing it the store will quickly try to avoid too much garbage because that is costly. And to all lazy people, recall: letting your waste in the supermarket means carrying less waste downstairs.
Check your cosmetics’ and cleaning products’ ingredients
Yes, that´s right! Cosmetics like peelings, bodywashes, shampoos, sunscreen, powder, lipsticks have microplastics in them and in running them down the drain they will certainly end up in the ocean, since no filter system is able to get those microplastics out of the water. Do you really think microplastics is nice food for fish?!
And then, be careful of fabric softeners. They release the synthetic fibres from you clothes which are then flushed into our rivers and with that into the ocean. Ocean Heroes don´t use them. They are unnecessary and you can have the same effect with a little lemon juice or even vinegar, completely natural and environmental friendly. 😉
Don’t buy synthetic fiber clothes
Even synthetic fibers from clothes leave traces of plastic that will end up in our ocean. So maybe stick to cotton, linen, wool and other natural fibers and don’t wash your synthetic clothes too often. Apparently there is even supposed to be a bag that will catch the plastic particles when you wash your cloth in it (Check it out).
Ocean Heroes save the climate
The ocean and climate systems are linked in several ways. You can´t protect the ocean without stopping sea level rise which is due to the greenhouse effect. The next time in the supermarket ask yourself if you really need climate change on your plate by eating meat or loads of dairy products. Take care of your carbon footprint, otherwise your feet will stay under water on land.
Inform yourself, friends and family, and address this problem with the producers! Talk to your friends and try to make them understand how important the ocean is for us and our world and that we should protect and not litter it. Each and everyone of us can help in doing little things, if we all do them together this can have a huge impact. Talk to your super markets and producers of your favorite products to let them know that you would appreciate if they used our resources carefully and use less plastic.
Dear Ocean Heroes, we know: Even heroes have bad days and temptations, are not perfect and sometimes fooled. But never give up, one failure does not change the story of success. Stand up and keep the spirit: Born to be an Ocean Hero.
This article has been written in the context of 4sea. 4sea, a project about the importance of the world oceans, addresses the interdependence between the oceans and climate change, entraining everyone to become ocean lovers – for now through articles and videos on this blog and in August on our own platform. 4sea is a joint project between the youth organisations CliMates, Youth for Ocean and Vitamin Sea. Love it? Stay tuned for our platform!
About the Authors: Marie Harbott and Mona Hosseini are the Project Coaches of 4Sea and members of CliMates, studying Marine Geoscience and Environmental and Resource Economics. Both are based in Northern Germany living close to the sea but different ones: North and Baltic Sea.