World Ocean Day – protecting our Blue Planet

As we celebrate World Ocean Day on 8 June, it’s a poignant reminder of the vital role our oceans play in sustaining life on Earth. Oceans cover over 70% of our planet’s surface, producing more than half of the world’s oxygen and housing a vast array of biodiversity. Yet, these magnificent ecosystems are under severe threat from pollution, climate change and overfishing.

One of the most pressing issues is plastic pollution, which endangers marine life and disrupts delicate ecological balances. This World Ocean Day, let’s commit to making a difference by reducing plastic use, opting for ocean-safe products, and raising awareness about ocean conservation.

Reduce plastic use

Plastic pollution is a scourge on our oceans, with millions of tonnes entering marine environments each year. To combat this, we can all take simple yet impactful steps to reduce our plastic footprint:

  • Use reusable bags, bottles and containers – Switching to reusable items for shopping, drinking, and food storage drastically cuts down on single-use plastic waste. Choose stainless steel, glass or durable BPA-free plastic options.
  • Say no to single-use plastics – Avoid plastic straws, cutlery, plates and cups. Many eco-friendly alternatives are available, such as bamboo or compostable materials.
  • Support legislation – Advocate for policies that limit plastic production and enhance recycling efforts. Support local bans on single-use plastics and participate in community clean-up events.

Choose ocean-safe cosmetics and personal care products

The beauty and personal care industry significantly impacts marine environments, especially through microplastics and harmful chemicals that wash down our drains. Here are some tips to ensure your personal care routine is ocean-friendly:

  • Check ingredients – Avoid products containing microbeads (tiny plastic particles) and harmful chemicals like oxybenzone and octinoxate, which are common in sunscreens and are detrimental to coral reefs.
  • Opt for biodegradable products – Choose shampoos, soaps and detergents labelled as biodegradable or 100% natural. These break down more easily and are less harmful to aquatic life.
  • Use reef-safe sunscreen – Many sunscreens contain chemicals that contribute to coral bleaching. Look for reef-safe sunscreens that use minerals like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which are less harmful to marine ecosystems.
  • Ditch the plastic earbuds – Those little blue plastic sticks in-between the cotton buds end up in the ocean a thousandfold, causing havoc with the marine life and the fish. Opt for natural earbuds that are much safer for you and the ocean. 

Raise awareness

Spreading knowledge about the importance of ocean conservation is crucial. Here’s how you can help create a ripple effect:

  • Educate yourself and others – Stay informed about ocean issues and share your knowledge with friends, family and social media networks. Use your voice to highlight the importance of protecting our oceans.
  • Support ocean conservation organisations – Donate to or volunteer with organisations dedicated to preserving marine environments. Groups like Oceana, The Ocean Cleanup and Sea Shepherd are always looking for support.
  • Participate in World Ocean Day events – Engage in activities and events that celebrate and advocate for the oceans. Whether it’s a beach clean-up, a seminar or an art project, your participation helps amplify the message of ocean conservation.

This World Ocean Day, let’s unite to protect our oceans for future generations. By reducing plastic use, choosing ocean-safe products and raising awareness, each of us can contribute to a healthier, more sustainable world. The oceans are a crucial part of our planet’s health and our own survival; let’s treat them with the respect and care they deserve. 

Together, we can turn the tide against ocean pollution and ensure our Blue Planet thrives for centuries to come.

Nicole Sherwin

Founder: Eco Diva Natural

Image credit: Freepik

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