Our oceans cover 71% of the earth’s surface and they are a valuable resource to all living creatures. Without water, no life on earth is possible, so we have to be pro-active in conserving this irreplaceable resource Whether you are a recreational diver or just a fan of the big blue, we can all do something to live greener and protect our planet.
1) GO GREENER
Your carbon footprint plays a significant role in the production of greenhouse gasses, which contribute to an increase in climate change. The effect of this is:
• warmer ocean temperatures
• rising water levels
• and a rise in the pH level of the ocean.
These effects pose a threat to the survival of the ocean’s fauna and flora. Make sure you use energy efficient light bulbs, join a lift club, or even better, start cycling. The greener you can live, the better!
Plastic pollutes our oceans and is a big cause of habitat destruction, but far worse, it causes the death of uncountable marine creatures.
According to statistics by National Geographic, there are over four billion plastic microfibers per square kilometer that litter the deep sea.
Apart from becoming entangled by plastic, certain creatures, like sea turtles, develop the “floating syndrome” where they float from ingesting plastic. A floating turtle can’t flee from its predators or move away from boats, let alone dive down into the ocean for its next meal.
Cut down on your plastic use by recycling plastic products!
3) COUNTERACT TOXIC SPILLS
Toxic materials often find their way to the ocean when they are not disposed of properly.
Think of your own body, if you fill it with unhealthy things, you will get sick and won’t be able to perform at your best. The ocean isn’t any different, any toxic chemicals that enter the ocean, affects its overall health.
When you use toxic and potentially hazardous materials, like motor oil, don’t pour it down the drain, rather make sure to dispose of it in a drop-off site designed for this purpose.
4) PROJECT AWARE: DIVE AGAINST DEBRIS
You can get involved with Project AWARE‘s Dive Against Debris campaign in your local community by:
• organizing beach cleans
• organizing dives to remove any pollution from the ocean floor
• look into collaborating with local authorities and make this a regular event.
Your example might just spark some interest in someone else and soon you can have a whole team working together to save our oceans!
5) SUPPORT SUSTAINABLE FISHERIES
Fish populations are being depleted at an alarming rate because of a lack of habitat and unsustainable fishing.
Make sure that you only eat fish on the MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) approved list. Give yourself peace of mind by choosing the MSC eco-label and support sustainable fisheries. In turn, this supports the future of our oceans.
6) DON’T BUY PRODUCTS MADE FROM MARINE LIFE
When you visit any coastal town you are guaranteed to see souvenirs made from various forms of marine life.
• tortoiseshell hair accessories
• coral jewelry
• shark products, especially teeth and fins
• or any cosmetics containing traces of whales or sharks.
However tempting that new red lipstick might look, be sure to know if it is ocean-friendly before you buy it!
7) SUPPORT MARINE CONSERVATION EDUCATION
You can do some research and find out if there are any local or national organizations or campaigns, such as PADI’s Project AWARE, that you can support.
• give financial support to these organizations to aid them in spreading the word about marine conservation
• lend a helping hand by volunteering to educate communities about the matter.
Your continued support can help raise the awareness needed to turn the tides in favor of our oceans!
Be sure to always be responsible when swimming, snorkelling or diving in the ocean. There are many marine conservation opportunities available to make a sustainable difference in saving our oceans. By following these seven easy ways to live greener, you can take the first step towards saving our oceans for future generations to come!
By Marike Lauwrens