We’re excited to announce that today marks the launch of #ThinkOcean – our optimistic campaign to get as many people from across the UK as possible thinking about the Ocean!
As the national conversation around climate change continues to gather momentum, we want to ensure that the Ocean – which provides half of the oxygen we breath and sustains all life on Earth – isn’t forgotten, and in a bid to bring it to the forefront of people’s minds and create more of a space for it in environmental conversations, we’ve been busy working away behind the scenes with influencers from across the country to bring the Ocean into the mass consciousness.
Throughout this week, we’ve been travelling the nation to events in Bristol, Manchester and London to meet our new and enthusiastic army of ‘Ocean Advocates’, who will be helping us to amplify our important message far and wide. Think Ocean will take an optimistic approach to getting people to think about the Ocean, shining a spotlight on happy memories, exhilarating experiences and benefits to wellbeing – because we all have a reason to live the Ocean, even if you don’t know what yours is yet.
Following the Sir David Attenborough documentary, Blue Planet, the issue of plastic pollution in our Ocean has become the topic of widespread discussion across the UK and around the world, with the UK Government having implemented a ban on items including single-use plastic straws and cotton buds, as well as ingredients including microbeads – both of which have been responsible for a huge amount of pollution in our Ocean and pose ongoing threats to marine life.
Many individuals have also taken steps to reduce their own consumption of single-use plastic, but the important conversations about the future of our planet as a whole often fail to acknowledge the vital role that is played by the Ocean, and it’s this that we want to change. Now, we’re aiming to build upon the positive momentum created by the ‘Blue Planet effect’ and get everyone thinking about the Ocean in their daily lives.
Many of us have happy memories of the Ocean, whether that’s a childhood day at the beach building sandcastles or a more recent adventure surfing with friends. But some of us have less obvious ones, too. If you don’t live near the beach, you might have gone for a swim in a river or lake, taken a walk beside a canal, visited an aquarium or tuned into calming Ocean sounds as part of meditation practice – so whether directly or indirectly, it means something to us all.
It’s not just about happy memories of the Ocean though, and in fact, the Ocean plays a far greater role in our daily lives than many realise.
The Ocean is a part of all of our daily routines, sometimes in ways that might surprise you. When you turn on your tap in the morning to brush your teeth, the water you use, as well as the algae in your toothpaste, comes from the Ocean. When you watch TV or use the internet, some of the materials used to make that happen have come from the Ocean. And when you buy your favourite foods at the supermarket, many of those have been shipped over to the UK, via the Ocean. Most importantly perhaps, though, is the fact that every time you breathe, half of the oxygen you take in has come from the Ocean – so we literally need it to survive.
In helping people to recognise the ways in which the Ocean is connected to their daily lives, we hope to lay the groundwork for deeper thinking into how our daily actions impact upon the Ocean, too – and in January 2020, we’re due to launch an ambitious behaviour change conservation campaign that will help people to live a more Ocean friendly life. We’re not quite ready to reveal all just yet, but stay tuned for more on this before the year is out.
Our own experience, combined with a growing body of evidence, has shown that personal experiences and connectedness with nature are the foundation for lifelong support for conservation. Telling people facts and science isn’t enough to make them want to make changes in their lives to benefit the Ocean – but experiencing and connecting with it, which makes people love and value it, is. Once they love it, they will want to take care of it – and only then will they be ready to change.
Our approach, as a progressive Ocean conservation charity, is to be optimistic, putting people at the centre of conservation and helping them to have these great experiences with the Ocean and to appreciate it for all that it is.
It’s then that we can begin helping them to understand how they can be a part of the solution – we can all do our bit to help if we Think Ocean. Ultimately, our aim is to inspire positive behaviour change to create a healthy Ocean for our futures – and for the benefit and enjoyment of all.