The ocean is a delicate environment and even a few degrees temperature change can be detrimental, not just to marine life, but for all life (yes, including ours). Flooding, species extinction and extreme weather events all result from climate change and it will only get worse unless we make changes.
Make a conscious effort to reduce your carbon footprint – walk when you can, turn off lights and switch off plugs you’re not using, and install a smart meter to reduce your usage (you’ll probably save off bills, too).
4. End plastic periods
Every single use plastic tampon applicator takes 500 years to decompose. Every year, we get through 45 billion tampons. Big problem. If we continue to use single-use plastic tampon applicators, by 2100, the world will be one big tampon – or it might as well be.
Ditch the single use applicators, and invest in a Dame – the world’s first reusable applicator, or else, swap for non-applicator, organic cotton tampons (that, by contrast, only take five years to decompose).
5. Give back
You can only do so much at home, so make sure you show your support for the organisations that are dedicated to implementing wider change. From local charities to global ones like Greenpeace and the WWF, there’s so many good causes to choose from.
6. Only eat sustainable seafood
Over-fishing is proving to be a big problem and if we continue, fish populations could be at the point of collapse, having a huge knock-on effect no only on marine environments, but also on world hunger and livelihoods that rely on the fishing industry.
Do try and avoid overexploited species when doing your food shopping and ordering in restaurants. Atlantic cod, tuna, plaice, sole and tropical prawns are the top five species on Greenpeace’s list of endangered fish.
7. Be a beach babe
Next time you’re packing up your beach bag after a day spent sunning on the beach, check around you and pick up any bits of plastics or litter you can see. It may seem like a super small gesture, but if everyone did it, it would make big difference.
8. Spread the word
We have a responsibility to educate ourselves, and to spread the word. Tell your friends, set an example to children and encourage one another to behave in a way that doesn’t negatively impact the future of the planet. Pretty simple, tbh.
9. Don’t buy products that exploit sea life
Resist the urge to buy that coral necklace at the airport gift shop and put down that shark tooth souvenir. These products may seem like a harmless trinket to remember your holiday, but chances are they were collected unethically and irresponsibly and by purchasing them, you’re supporting the continuation of the exploitation.
Another shark product to be aware of is shark squalene derived from shark liver oil. Due to its supposed immune-boosting properties, it has become a popular ingredient in health supplements and some beauty products, but should be avoided – plants are also a great source of squalene, so there’s really no need to get it from sharks.
10. Skip single-use plastics
We’ve become heavily dependent on plastics, but the material is problematic as it takes so long to break down and some types are impossible to recycle. While it’s hard to avoid plastic all together, you can quite easily cut out the single use ones.
Swap your plastic straws with paper or metal ones, use a thermos flask in place of a throw-away coffee cup, and actually reuse those plastic bags you pay 10p for.