11 Things You Can Do Right Now to Help Prevent Ocean Pollution

Jun 8 2020 - 5:30am

Trips to the beach and swimming in the ocean [1] with friends are two of life's best and simplest pleasures. But a hard reality that's difficult to wrestle with is that our oceans are in serious danger. Between plastic pollution [2], harmful man-made chemicals (think fertilizers and pesticides), and sunscreen that suffocates coral reefs, there are serious changes that need to be made (and fast) to help prevent any more damage. And it all starts with us.

Ahead, we share 11 ways you can help fight ocean pollution [3] right now, whether it's learning little habits you can adopt in your daily life or making tweaks to your shopping routine. Together, we can do better!

Choose Reusable Materials Instead of Single-Use Plastics

Make simple swaps like purchasing a reusable water bottle instead of reaching for a plastic one every time. If you can, avoid using disposable utensils or straws. Instead, find a travel-friendly set of utensils you can rely on and a set of reusable straws [5].

Recycle Correctly

Recycling whenever possible is a must. Make sure you're recycling correctly to limit the amount of excess plastic that makes its way into the landfill and potentially the ocean.

Use Ocean-Friendly Sunscreen

Some sunscreens have the potential to suffocate coral reefs. Before purchasing your sunscreen, do some research to determine whether or not it's reef-safe. Look for formulas free of oxybenzone and octinoxate. If you can, choose a mineral-based formula instead of a chemical-based option.

Sign Up For a Beach Clean-Up Day

Contact your closest friends and commit to a beach clean-up day. Search for a volunteering opportunity near you, and make it a fun day out! You'll feel so good when you're done, especially because you got to see a real difference being made.

Reduce Your Carbon Emissions

Reduce your carbon emissions by being more conscious in your daily decisions. For example, be mindful to always turn off the lights when you leave a room (leave little notes for yourself, if that helps!), turn off the heat or air conditioning when you're not home, and walk when you can.

Book Your Next Trip Through an Environmentally Friendly Travel Company

Looking to book a vacation soon? Consider planning your next trip with the help of an environmentally friendly travel company like Responsible Travel [6]. You won't find a large cruise ship or elephant-back-riding excursions, but you will find small group vacations complete with exciting volunteer opportunities.

Eat Sustainable Seafood

When dining out, look for seafood restaurants with sustainable fishing practices. And in general, stay informed about what fish are still in abundance [7] (the ones you should eat!) and which ones are overfished (that you should avoid eating when you can).

Shop Beauty Brands With a Mission

Another easy way to get involved is to support brands that educate and donate profits to help saving our oceans. A few great sustainable brands are One Ocean Beauty [8], Sand Cloud [9], and Patagonia [10].

Purchase Clean Household Items

Yes, saving the ocean starts in your home. Household chemicals have the potential to make their way into our waterways. If you can, cut back on household products full of synthetic chemicals and opt for a plant-based formula like Thieves Household Cleaner [11], made of a blend of essential oils.

Join an Ocean Organization

There are plenty of organizations fighting to save our oceans, a few being Oceana [12], The Ocean Conservancy [13], and Project AWARE [14]. Sign up for their mailing lists, learn how to take action near you, and, most importantly, get involved in the community.

Tell Everyone You Know

Finally, speak up to friends, family, and coworkers about what changes you're making to help stop ocean pollution. Volunteer together and hold each other accountable so that together, you can make a difference.

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