Today, June 8, 2017 the world celebrates World Oceans Day*.
Some of you may ask, why do we need to have a dedicated day to the world’s oceans?
Boy, am I ever glad you did.
Here we go. Did you know?
And that’s not counting other marine creatures such as turtles, fish, seals, etc. This is an appalling number, I know. But wait, it gets worse.
Yes. Not from ocean liners, not from leisure boats, not from ocean-side resorts. From dry land.
This is why today, more than ever, we need to hold ourselves accountable for the health of our planet. Each one of us is a Steward of the little corner that was assigned to us (whatever neck of the woods we call home). It doesn’t matter where you live. It doesn’t matter if you are landlocked. A great deal of your garbage will end up in the oceans. And a great deal of the world’s garbage is plastic.
I’ve heard many people say, “I’m but just one person among 7 billion; what I do has no consequence one way or the other”. But the truth is that yes, yes it does have a consequence; you just never get to see it -remember that bit where 80% of the plastic trash in the ocean came from dry land?-. Every little thing we do has and it is up to us to decide if that consequence will be a good or a bad one.
This is why we need to have a dedicated day for our oceans. Because we depend on them and yet we are -some more unknowingly and unwillingly than others- killing them.
We can change this, though. Together we can make a huge difference for the oceans, for all the beautiful creatures that inhabit. Because it’s their ocean too, you know?
So, here is how you can keep plastic trash out of the oceans & away from ocean animals. It is simple really. A seemingly small act in the big scheme of things but one of huge repercussions:
- Use reusable shopping bags: Reusable shopping bags are prettier, anyway. You can even make them a fashion statement if you’re into that, or show your support for your favourite charity. Reusable shopping bags rock. And do not use those produce transparent plastic bags either. I’ve seen many people bringing their reusable bags to the grocery store (yaaaay ) and yet they still use a transparent bag for each different fruit and vegetable they buy (booo ). Those count too. Pro tip: Put one of those super cute foldable reusable bags in every one of your purses/backpacks/knapsacks. You never know when you’re going to hit an amazing sale or have to do an emergency run to the grocery store.
- Carry your own refillable water bottle: Say no to bottled water. If you like fizzy water, get your own carbonating system. They are cheaper than a espresso machine and with so many gorgeous reusable bottles in the market, you’ll be the envy of all your friends. Trust me on this one. There’s nothing more trendy than carrying your own bottle. Trendier than carrying your yoga mat everywhere. They come in gorgeous colours, different kind of materials for every taste, BPA-free, and there is one for every budget.
- Do not use disposable plastic straws: Plastic straws are evil! Yes, yes. I know they are super cute and come in all sorts happy colours that match all your decorations. But there are many other ways to make your parties and summer gathering pretty and fun.
Finally, here’s the magic triad: REUSE, RECYCLE, REPURPOSE. Recycle properly, reuse whenever possible, repurpose as much as you can. Your children’s children will be most grateful to you for this.
Happy World Oceans Day!
Please visit worldoceansday.org to learn more!
* Incidentally, today is also the first day of Rivers To Oceans Week in Canada, which is hosted by the Canadian Wildlife Federation.