Green Tips: Celebrating National Ocean Month
Green Tips | June 12, 2019
National Ocean Month, celebrated every June, is a time to honor the waters that we rely on. The ocean comprises 70% of our planet, and produces 70% of the oxygen that we breathe. It regulates climate and is home to countless forms of life. The ocean plays a major role in everyday life, and so it is critical to preserve this resource.
So how can you get involved in this nationwide celebration and conservation effort? Check out the tips below to get started, and take action all month long!
Stop the usage of disposable plastics: From plastic bags to takeout containers, plastics get into the ocean and damage ecosystems. By mid-century, the total volume of plastic waste in the ocean is expected to outweigh marine life. You can help reverse this trend by refusing plastics that you don’t need or swapping them for reusable alternatives. Encourage businesses to provide these options. Check out our previous tips for reducing plastic use!
Switch to safe products: Even if you don’t live by the ocean, chemicals in some household products can still enter our waterways. Swap polluting products for safer ones that are less harmful to the bodies of water and the marine life they host.
Support clean energy: Much of the carbon dioxide that our homes produce is absorbed by the oceans, causing acidification that dramatically impacts marine life. You can reduce your home’s carbon footprint by switching your energy supplier. Support sustainability at home by signing up to receive electricity from an Energy Services Company (ESCO). ESCO’s promote energy efficiency and sustainable resources. More information from the New York Department of Public Service can be found here.
If the option is available to you, consider installing rooftop solar panels to generate electricity or switching to geothermal energy or solar water heating systems to heat your home. Relying on renewable energy will protect the ocean from the harmful effects of carbon emissions produced by fossil fuels.
Make responsible food choices: The oceans supply us with food, but these resources are not infinite. Overfishing depletes key populations of marine life and disrupts ecosystems. Make the right choice by checking that your fish are caught under sustainable fishing practices or farmed in ways that cause as little disruption to the environment as possible. The Monterey Bay Aquarium prepares helpful consumer guides.
Clean up the beach: If you live near the ocean, you can get involved with direct action. Go with friends and family to pick up debris, join a local cleanup event, or participate in a larger movement, such as the New York State Beach Cleanup, which coordinates cleanups all across the state. If there are no events scheduled near you, try organizing one yourself with the tips provided by the Ocean Conservancy here. You’ll get to spend time near the water while also protecting your environment!
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