Growing up in Ipanema in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and living in the coastal community of Santa Monica, California for the past 13 years gave me the opportunity to build a strong connection, appreciation, and admiration for the ocean. So, I take it personally when I see our planet’s oceans suffering. Thankfully, awareness of climate change and helping the environment is on the rise, and for a good reason.
In early July, 17 million gallons of sewage spilled into Santa Monica Bay, causing beach closures at the peak of the summer season. The spill not only highlighted a massive concern for public health and safety, it also killed off a litany of local marine life. Horrible events like these show how disastrous ocean pollution can be and how detrimental the long-term effects will be if we don’t act now.
Though ocean pollution is only one facet of harm to the environment, it’s one that should be taken seriously by all across the globe due to its dangers and the detriment it will cause to our earth. This is one reason why it is vital for us to collectively educate the next generation on how to care for and nurture our environment.
Have you ever wondered where your trash goes, where your bodily waste ends up, or where many of your old electronics live? Unfortunately, most of the things named likely find a home in the ocean. This is why it’s an important message to get out that, though it may not completely resolve the issue, recycling and reusing materials and objects is always going to help. That’s one less aquatic species to be harmed by their changing environment, one fewer turtle traps in plastic, one less fish suffocating due to breathing in waste. This is why being aware of the effects of ocean pollution is just as crucial for your health, your loved one’s health, animal prosperity, and the earth’s well-being.
Time To Act Entertainment recently launched a survey on the topic of climate change. Of the four social issues listed (social justice, climate change, political divide, and ocean pollution) ocean pollution scored the least in regards to which social issue parents believe their children worry about the most, scoring 9.4 percent. Ocean pollution is a major problem that affects our environment, our food, and overall livelihood, but these results show that many people don’t view it as a serious threat. Although some may feel helpless when taking into consideration the scale of ocean pollution, there are a number of things you can do to help our Oceans.
We all want to avoid a future of vacationing on beaches littered with trash, of not eating contaminated seafood and the destruction of the only home we know. Below are some easy and effective ways to combat ocean pollution in your everyday life with your family and friends.
Recycle: One of the best ways for you and your family to help the environment is recycling. Recycling generates less waste, prevents pollution, and saves energy.
Be Mindful of Your Surroundings: No matter where you reside, it’s not hard to find trash littered in almost every community. So, if you’re taking your dog on a walk, taking a stroll to the corner store, or having an outing with friends — if you see it, pick it up. Even if the trash isn’t yours, the earth is your home, and every action to help our home regain its health and beauty is needed.
Reusable Tools: Using reusable products, such as—Britas, coffee pods, glass beauty products, razor handles, dishes, shopping bags, soap dispensers, and lunch boxes. Many items that are purchased cannot be recycled so using eco-efficient material will benefit us all in the long run.
Support Sustainable Brands: 100 corporations that are responsible for roughly 70% of earth pollution, so buying from sustainable brands helps fight environmental stressors. Corporations that don’t use sustainable means will only change once their revenue is affected. So put your support in companies who care about our earth and not only about capital.
Lower Your Transportation Pollution: Vehicle emissions have caused harm to our environment, however, transportation is essential. We all don’t have the means to purchase new electric vehicles so another way to combat this issue is to carpool, bike or find additional means of transportation to have fewer pollutants on the road.
Mind Your Consumption: Organic food reduces pollution, conserves water, minimizes soil erosion, helps soil fertility, and uses less energy. Farming without pesticides is also better for nearby animals as well as human health. Also, the portions of your food and the waste of what’s not consumed play a huge role in polluting our environment and oceans. So, don’t bite off more than you can chew.
Grow Your Own Fruits and Vegetables: Growing your own vegetables can be a fun hobby you and your family can do together that is very sustainable. You can choose your own natural soil, fertilizers, and chemicals. This helps prevent pollution in our environment and waterways.
There are many other additional ways you can combat pollution — using less water, growing your own produce, and raising awareness through word of mouth — to name a few. Though this issue may seem insurmountable, it’s important to remember no matter how small, every action you take to fight ocean pollution makes a difference and helps create a better world for ourselves and the next generation.
by Luciana Brafman | August 19, 2021