World Oceans Day is the perfect opportunity to reflect and make changes in your routine that can positively impact our environment, oceans and livelihoods. Although the day is not as widely recognised as Earth Day, our oceans are in fact one of the most important ecosystems on our planet and play an extremely significant role in contributing to our daily lives. Continue reading to learn why our blue planet is so important and discover what changes you can make to help preserve it.
What is World Oceans Day?
World Oceans Day is a day where people around the world come together to celebrate and honour our one shared ocean – the blue planet that connects us all. The chosen date, June 8th, was first declared in 1992 at the Global Forum in Rio de Janeiro, and was influenced by an event run by the Oceans Institute of Canada, called ‘Oceans Day at Global Forum – The Blue Planet’.
The forum ran parallel to the United Nations Conference on Environmental and Development (UNCED), also known as the ‘Earth Summit’, which gave non-government organisations (NGOs) and the civil society the opportunity to voice their opinions on environmental issues.
It wasn’t however until 2002, 10 years later, that global promotion of the movement began, and only in 2008 that the United Nations officially recognised the day as a calendar event. Fast-forward to the present day and World Oceans Day is celebrated by millions across the globe1.
Why should we celebrate our oceans?
Our oceans are the lungs of our planet and make up over 70% of the earth’s surface. They provide around 70% of the oxygen that we breathe, which is produced by marine plants that live and grow beneath the surface (phytoplankton, kelp, and algal plankton) as a byproduct of photosynthesis2.
Oceans also store 50 times more carbon dioxide than our atmosphere3, taking up around 25% of CO2 emissions that human activity generates every single year4.
Oceans are a critical part of the biosphere and play a significant part in contributing to climate moderation and the oxygen that we need to survive. Without them, humankind simply would not exist. It is therefore vital that we act together to protect and preserve them as much as possible.
What can we do to help protect our oceans?
We can all make changes in our daily routine that will help make a big impact in the long term, and here’s how you can do it. Below are a few easy pledges you can make to help save our ocean habitats and the marine wildlife that live there. Additionally, if you’re in the beauty industry, check out our article on how to make your salon sustainable and eco-friendly for some top tips!
1. Reduce plastic consumption
Reducing the amount of plastic you use has always been, and will always be at the top of the list when it comes to eco-friendly pledges. Plastics that end up in the ocean contribute to the destruction of habitats and death of marine animals, all of which are vital for maintaining a healthy marine ecosystem.
If you’re struggling for ideas on how to do this, reducing the amount of plastic in your bathroom is a great way to start. This could include switching to a soap bar as opposed to using a disposable soap dispenser, or switching to a shampoo bar, like weDo/’s No Plastic Shampoo. Some other unique ways to limit plastic consumption include using paper sticky tape as opposed to plastic, using loose tea leaves and a strainer instead of teabags, and storing your food in re-usable containers.
The main advice is to simply stay away from any single-use plastic items, such as plastic water bottles, cups, cutlery, straws and plastic bags. Also try to look out for products with reduced packaging or packaging made from recyclable materials wherever possible.
If you do find yourself purchasing plastic items, try getting into the routine of upcycling if you can. This could include transforming shampoo bottles into plant pots, or reusing beauty containers to create DIY products such as scalp scrubs, hair masks and face masks. Upcycling doesn’t have to stop at plastic either – try transforming old clothes into cushion covers or using an old jam jar as a pot for your makeup brushes. You can also check out this creative eco hack on how to transform your weDo/ Protect Balm into a DIY candle on TikTok. The list is endless if put your creative mind to it!
2. Make your next meal plant-based
Fish population is rapidly decreasing due to demand, and overfishing across the globe plays a big role in the destruction of our oceans. When too many fish are taken from the ocean it can result in an imbalance that can erode the food web. This can lead to a loss of other important marine species, including sea turtles and coral5.
Bycatch is another concern, which is the capture of unplanned sea life while fishing. 300,000 dolphins and small whales are killed as a result of bycatch every year. It also results in the death of 250,000 endangered loggerhead turtles and critically endangered leatherback turtles6.
Fish and other marine animals have an enormous nutrient impact on marine ecosystems and without them, the oceans would not exist, and therefore the human race would not exist. To help overcome this, the most proactive thing to do would be to reduce your fish consumption as much as possible and consider switching to plant-based omega 3 sources.
Omega 3-rich foods include algae and soybeans – there are also a number of nuts and seeds such as walnuts, flaxseeds and chia seeds that have plenty of nutritional value as a substitute to fish.
3. Help take care of the beach
Whether you enjoy water sports, boat excursions or socialising on the beach, always tidy up after yourself when you leave and don’t dispose of any waste in the ocean. Take extra care looking out for smaller objects such as bottle caps and drinks can rings, as these are often missed, but can be deadly to marine wildlife. You could even go one step further and volunteer to take part in beach clean-ups that help to keep our beaches and oceans clean and safe.
Another thing to remember is that marine pollution often stems from our cities. Whatever goes into our sewer systems eventually ends up in the ocean, so it’s important to be mindful wherever you are. Simple acts like not littering the streets and preventing others from doing so, not flushing personal care products down the toilet or participating in city clean-ups, will also help to preserve our oceans, as well as create a nice environment for us all to live in.
What are weDo/ doing to help protect our oceans?
At weDo/ we are dedicated to the preservation of our environment and passionate about sustainability, with the aim to make the world better place. Our partnership with Plastic Bank ensures that for every weDo/ product sold, we prevent 8 plastic bottles from entering the ocean.
We are proud to be partnered with such an inspiring project which helps to fight ocean plastic while alleviating poverty. Check out Our Commitment page to keep track of everything we are doing, and get involved!
Our ocean connects us all, and although the destruction is overwhelming, we believe that by acting together – we can make a difference.
Learn more about Our Brand with weDo/ and discover more about how to follow an eco-ethical lifestyle through our weBlog.
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