You enjoy the activities the Ocean has to offer and use it as a creative space.
You visit the Ocean to have fun! You work to create a healthy ocean for the benefit and enjoyment of all.
Go with the flow! Gradually build your pro-Ocean habits on your #thinkOcean journey…
Step 1: Cut down on your use of single-use plastic
This helps to conserve raw materials and protects natural habitats for the future, saving energy and reducing the amount of rubbish going to landfill. There are over 1,500 landfill sites in the UK alone, and in 2001, these sites produced a quarter of the UK’s emissions of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. Millions of tonnes of plastic are still entering the Ocean every year – we have to cut it off at source.
By reducing the amount we buy, reusing what we can and recycling what we can’t, we are allowing the Ocean to recover and support all life on Earth.
Invest in reusable bottles, cups and bags for when you are out and about or shopping. Check if there are alternative to the plastic wrapped food item you are about to put in your basket. Buy soap, shampoo and conditioner bars and bamboo toothbrushes to cut down plastic use in your bathroom. Share your successes on social media, use #thinkocean!
Step 2: Do a beach clean
While the goal should be to cut plastic off at the source, we need to clean up what is already out there. The plastic that ends up on our beaches can be washed out to sea and travel all around the world. While it’s travelling, some of it breaks down into microplastic (super tiny bits) and this ends up in the food chain which we are part of.
Join an organised beach clean or set one up yourself, take along some gloves, a bin bag or some litter pickers if you have some handy. Have a look at what you collect, how old is the oldest piece of litter you find? Don’t have much time? Carry a bag (a reusable tote bag of course!) in your pocket wherever you go and pick up the litter you find along the way. Share your successes on social media, use #thinkOcean!
Step 3: Raise money for charity with a sponsored walk or swim
Lots of charities rely on donations to continue their hard work. One of the most effective things you can do is to financially support non-profit organisations that are there day in and day out working on both a public and political level to save and protect our Ocean.
Pick an Ocean charity that you love (ehem Ocean Conservation Trust) and set up a fundraiser. Pick something you love doing, make it extreme and get your friends and family to donate. While you are at it tell your friends and family about the #thinkOcean challenge.
Step 4: Volunteer for hands-on work or advocacy
Your time is just as valuable as donations to some Ocean charities. The skills you can bring to a conservation organisation are invaluable to them and the work they are doing to protect the Ocean.
There are lots of different ways to get involved (you are doing it right now) from citizen science projects to long term volunteering there is something for everyone and every little helps. Find your local Ocean conservation charity and drop them an email.
Step 5: Encourage your workplace to go blue
As well as individual action, organisations can make a huge difference. From energy use through to what stationary they buy, the place you work or go to school has an impact on the health of the Ocean. Less plastic in the Ocean, less chemical runoff from industry, less pressure on the electricity being used in production and disposal. Less waste means a lessened effect on all of the natural systems of our planet – that can only be a good thing.
Rally all your coworkers together and discuss what changes you can make at work to be more environmentally friendly. Some ideas for you are: reducing electricity use, choosing more environmentally friendly cleaning products, going paperless, setting up a recycling system, switching from using plastic coffee filter cups to ground coffee, and looking at how everyone gets to work. Share your successes on social media, use #thinkOcean!
Step 6: Walk, cycle or take the bus when you can.
Being car free is considered to have one of the highest impacting personal choices you can make to reduce climate change. When we burn the (fossil) fuels it takes to make your car move this increases the layer of greenhouse gases around the Earth. Like a big blanket this layer then traps more heat from the sun. In the last half-century, the ocean has absorbed 90% of the excess heat created by burning fossil fuels. That’s led to warmer waters, which can affect where fish swim, bleach coral reefs, change how marine species reproduce, speed up sea-level rise, and even alter weather events on land.
Try doing this one day a week to start and slowly build it up. Take a look at your local bus timetable, it is easier than you think. Live too far away to walk for the school drop off? Try joining a school carpool. Check out if you qualify for a bike to work scheme and check that your place of work has somewhere safe to store a bike.
Step 7: Explore the Ocean for yourself.
Jacques-Yves Cousteau once said “people protect what they love”, and we totally agree! There is also now a plethora of research that shows people are more likely to protect nature if they have experienced it first hand and see its value in their lives.
You could plant a tree or if you are in a small space, window boxes are a great alternative. Even a small space in your garden for native wildlife can support our planet’s biodiversity.
Let us know what you are doing and share your successes on social media, use #thinkocean and tag us in your post!
Congratulations! You have made it to the last step, but your journey doesn’t end here, keep trying some new pro-Ocean habits and continue to support a healthy Ocean. If you have signed up to our emails, we will keep you updated with good news stories for some inspiration and some new challenges to try!