When it comes to conservation, things can get a little confusing. Looking at the conservation steps someone else is taking can often leave you feeling like you’re not doing enough. But I’ll let you in on a little secret: every drop counts! No measure is too small if you remain consistent in your efforts. You don’t need to turn your life upside down – there are small, simple things you can do to contribute to a clean ocean.
In celebration of PADI Aware Week, the international scuba diving community is focusing on all things conservation. But what good is knowledge if you don’t share it? So here are 10 simple ways anyone can help the ocean:
Knowledge is power!
The more you know about something, the more prepared you are to inspire change in others. There are many websites and blogs you can visit to learn more about the marine ecosystem and the way it functions.
Do what you can
Don’t worry if you’re not a marine biologist, you can help by being yourself. Use your unique skills to help organisations that work to protect and clean ocean environments. Consider also joining local cleanup initiatives and volunteer groups.
Make sustainable seafood choices
Global fish populations are decreasing rapidly due to high demand and unsustainable fishing practices. Help reduce the demand for overexploited species by choosing healthy and sustainable seafood when dining out or shopping. Not sure how? Use this guide or carry a sustainable seafood card.
Be safe out there
No matter what you do – scuba diving, boating, kayaking – be responsible when doing recreational activities at sea. Don’t throw anything overboard and be cautious not to harm or harass marine life around you. Consider looking for more eco-friendly cruises.
Put away the plastic
Single-use plastics contribute greatly to ocean pollution, destructing habitats and killing marine animals. Minimise your impact by removing unnecessary single-use plastics from your daily habits. Carry reusable water bottles, use reusable cloth bags when shopping, store food in non-disposable containers and recycle whenever possible.
Dispose of hazardous materials properly
Hazardous materials such as motor oil often runs off into coastal areas because they aren’t disposed of properly. Dispose of these materials responsibly to avoid causing further ocean pollution.
Don’t support exploitation
Similar to making sustainable seafood choices, also ensure you make sustainable shopping choices. Don’t purchase products that are directly linked to harmful practices. This includes cosmetics that contain shark squalene, coral jewellery and tortoiseshell hair accessories (made from hawksbill turtles).
At the end of the day, all life on earth is connected to the ocean. For this reason, we need to implement these tips wherever possible. And always remember the three Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.