For World Ocean Day on 8th June we decided to find out what you can do to contribute to a cleaner ocean.
With the ban on single use plastics coming in during October we could all use some practice to find alternatives. Why not use World Ocean Day as a milestone to perfect your technique? According to Surfers Against Sewage, 12 million tonnes of plastic finds its way into the ocean every year, disposing of plastics correctly such as using the correct recycling bins, or better yet, avoiding buying plastic packaging, is crucial to reducing this devastating number. Instead of plastics like clingfilm or water bottles, opt for longer use materials such as wax wraps, tupperware, and refillable bottles.
Another detrimental factor to ocean cleanliness is fishing. Overfishing can disrupt the ecosystem of marine life and deteriorate their habitats such as coral reefs. At home we can play our part by choosing sustainable seafood, Marine Conservation Society (MCS) have created a Good Fish Guide which categorises which types of fish are suitable for consumption, and which are best to avoid, via colour coding from green to red. They even provide sustainable swaps for alternatives for the fish of your choosing, the guide can be downloaded for offline use on your phone so you can always refer to it in the supermarket.
Chemicals and chemical disposal
Opt for non-toxic chemicals when you’re buying cleaning products. The brand
Smol have a large range of non-toxic and environmentally friendly cleaning products, including refill spray bottles (keeping in line with the single use plastics tip!). Get the products delivered to your home in the quantity you need at its fair price promise. If you must dispose of toxic chemicals in your house, familiarise yourself with safety regulations – most chemicals should not be poured down the sink and should instead be disposed of with your local hazardous waste disposal service.
Out and About
Take part in a beach clean-up
An excuse to get to the seaside, but this time grab your litter picker and bin bag! Taking part in a beach clean-up can make a world of difference to your local community. National Trust have a Find a Beach Clean page on its website so you can search for volunteering opportunities or use MCS’s website to learn how to conduct your own beach clean-up.
Sign petitions and campaign
Making a difference can also mean alerting other people to the severity of the problem. To incite positive change sometimes you need to shout louder. Get involved by sharing petitions on social media, or by adding to hashtags such as MCS’s ongoing campaign #bandisposablevapes which is attempting to ban the numerous disposable vapes which end up on our shores. To get involved take a picture of a littered single use vape, tag MCS and include the hashtag to make your voice heard. There are several other campaigns on MCS website you can also partake in.
Volunteer with MCS
Good at getting media attention, or want to offer your time as a spokesperson? MCS also allows you to volunteer as a community presenter, media spokesperson, or as part of its education team. On the MCS website under Volunteering you can find out what’s involved in each role, what the next steps are, the training support such as online sessions MCS can provide you, and how to get in contact with them if you need more help. You’ll be making a long-lasting difference to our planet with like-minded friendly faces.