The earth is our most precious resource, and the ocean makes up more than 70 percent of it. That’s one of the reasons why it’s so important to maintain a harmonious balance with the creatures that live there. Here are just a few ways you can help contribute to the well-being of the earth’s marine life.
Reduce Plastic Use
Single-use plastics have been strongly vilified in recent years, and that’s with good reason. In 2009, the US created 30 million tons of plastic waste, only 7 percent of which was recycled back into the system. Cutting down on the use of plastics reduces the amount of waste that inevitably makes its way to the ocean. You don’t have to make any drastic changes to your lifestyle in order to cut back on plastic use. Begin by refusing plastic straws when dining out or visiting the movie theater. You can also stock up on reusable grocery bags and sturdy containers for leftovers. If you often buy whole grains, dry legumes or cereal in bulk, bring reusable containers to the store instead of using those flimsy plastic bags. Even the smallest changes can make a difference.
Snorkeling and scuba diving provide awe-inspiring opportunities to connect with sea creatures in their natural habitat, but it’s important to exercise caution—for the animals’ sake as much as your own. During your explorations, be sure to enjoy marine life from a respectful distance. This includes seemingly innocuous plant life like coral. The touch of human skin can destroy the delicate membranes that protect countless animals from disease. Respecting the ecosystems of ocean life can also prevent attacks from sea creatures that may feel threatened.
Look for the Sustainable Label
If you enjoy seafood, try to seek out products that are labeled as safe and sustainable. This means that the fish was harvested under environmentally friendly circumstances with an overall focus on the protection of the marine habitat. Sustainable seafood can be either wild-caught or farm-raised, and it’s available either fresh or frozen. Remember that since the flash-freezing process reduces both waste and carbon emissions, frozen seafood is often a more planet-friendly choice than buying fresh.
It’s in everyone’s best interests to keep the earth’s marine life healthy and thriving. By making these small contributions, you can make a real impact on the future of the planet and the many creatures who call it home.
Want more tips on how to help marine life stay safe and healthy, even at home? Check out this article: Why Test Your Aquarium’s Water?