5 Activities For World Oceans Day

World Oceans Day is an annual reminder to celebrate all the ocean does for the planet. As the main carbon sink of our planet, oceans play a crucial role in mitigating global warming by absorbing excess heat from greenhouse gas emissions. The ocean has already soaked up about 90% of this heat, leading to a rise in its temperature. This increase causes a ripple effect of changes.

We're seeing ice caps melt, sea levels rise, and marine heatwaves become more common. It's also leading to ocean acidification. All these changes are upending marine life and threatening millions of people who live in coastal areas and rely on the ocean for their food and jobs.

Also, rivers and lakes carry plastic waste from inland to the oceans, turning them into a sink for plastic pollution. This plastic waste breaks down into microplastics, affecting marine and human life.

As individuals, we can take significant steps to mitigate this impact despite the overwhelming odds.

If you're celebrating World Ocean's Day on June 8, here are 5 things that you can do on World Oceans Day:

Prepare for a plastic-free journey

The first step in a plastic-free journey is assessment. You need to figure out where the plastic in your life is coming from. Is it the cleaning products in your cupboard? The pre-packaged snacks in your pantry? Or synthetic fibers such as polyester and nylon in your clothes? Once you know your main suspects, you can start to swap them out with more sustainable picks. The best places to start are your kitchen, bathroom, and laundry.

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Gather people and watch an ocean documentary

Dive into ocean conservation with your friends and family by watching ocean documentaries. This is a great way to learn about the issues and spark a conversation. Here are some of our favorite ones: Mission Blue, Our Planet: Coastal Seas, High Seas, My Octopus Teacher, Disneynature: Oceans, The Blue Planet, and A Plastic Ocean.

Organize neighborhood cleanups

Even if you don’t stay next to a beach, you can organize neighborhood cleanups. They are a powerful tool to combat plastic pollution. They provide a hands-on experience with plastic waste, allowing participants to witness the impact of everyday products on the environment. This can inspire a shift in our consumption habits and a move away from single-use plastics. Remember, every cleanup makes a difference, regardless of its size.

Learn about sustainable seafood

Seafood Watch labels take human and planet health and worker wages into account. While you will not see these labels on your seafood at the grocery store, you can download the Seafood Watch Guide or App to choose seafood that is good for you, the planet, and workers. You can also support ocean-friendly restaurants certified by Surfrider. They must meet certain standards, such as no plastic bottles, following proper recycling guidelines, and always offering vegetarian and vegan options.

Support organizations that are protecting our oceans

You can support several organizations dedicated to ocean conservation. Oceana is the largest of its kind, working to mitigate ocean pollution from various sources. The Ocean Conservancy advocates for protecting marine habitats, sustainable fisheries, and reducing human impact on oceans. The Nature Conservancy conserves ecologically important marine areas, and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) also has a strong focus on ocean initiatives.

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