The ocean is BIG! And, to help protect it—we’re all going to need to help out. I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to live near the ocean or even be a marine biologist to make a big difference—we all have the capability to help. No matter where you live, how much free time you have or what your profession may be—here are six ways YOU can help save the ocean right from your home.
- Sign petitions and take action. We have petitions on petitions on petitions. And they do make a difference. Just recently, Scott Pruitt resigned from the EPA, thanks in part to receiving complaints from constituents and citizens like you. Your congressmen and senators are elected to put forth and protect laws that the citizens want. It’s your job to make sure they know exactly what it is. Our petitions connect you with your representative and help you find what you want to say so that we can voice our support for the ocean together. Interested in showing your support? Here are a few Ocean Conservancy petitions that you can sign today!
- Recycle with care. It is so important that we recycle and organize our trash. Waste management trucks pick up your recyclables that then head to a materials recovery facility where workers hand sort the materials. Certain items like dirty aluminum cans or a greasy pizza box can contaminate entire batches of recycling. Items that are fit for recycling move on to other facilities, while the rest have no option but the landfill. Take time to understand what you can recycle and what you can’t.
- Stop using plastic bags, plastic straws and other single-use plastics. Every year, 8 million metric tons of plastics enter our ocean on top of the estimated 150 million metric tons that currently circulate our marine environments. Even recycling centers have trouble with plastic bags. They can wrap around and jam equipment, contaminate batches, and blow off landfills, winding up in our ocean and waterways. And straws? Volunteers have picked up more than 9 million straws and stirrers from beaches and waterways over the 30+ year history of the International Coastal Cleanup. From skipping the straw to switching to reusable shopping bags, there’s so much we can do to reduce the flow of trash into our ocean. Cleaning up is a major part of addressing and solving the plastic pollution crisis, but halting the problem at the source is needed now more than ever.
- Educate yourself (and others) by learning more about what is going on with our ocean and reading the news. If we don’t know what’s going on in the ocean, then how can we help it? Learn about the Arctic, carbon emissions and overfishing with our Ocean Acidification, Ocean Planning and Sustainable Fisheries Programs.
- Volunteer. The best thing about volunteering is that you can define it however you want, the only part that matters is putting in the time to show your support. So whether you do that through coming to one of our International Coastal Cleanup, organizing your own beach cleanup or even raising awareness through art created from debris, it all plays into a larger role of protecting our ocean.
- Donate: When you can, it’s important to make a donation to charities that are working towards solutions. Even if you are unable to, something as simple as setting up a Facebook fundraiser makes all the difference in supporting the cause. Ocean Conservancy is on the front lines of ocean protection, investing in research, leadership and advocacy that advances science-based solutions that work. Give today and make a difference for the future of our ocean!
Life began in the ocean, and today, all life continues to depend on a healthy ocean to survive. That’s why it’s important for all of us to work together in supporting and maintaining our ocean.