Our oceans contain roughly 97 percent of the Earth’s water and according to NOAA, they cover more than 70 percent of the surface of our planet. From the food we eat to the air we breathe and the medicine that helps keep us alive, oceans are essentially humankind’s bloodline. Needless to say, they are a pretty big deal. So, it only makes sense that we dedicate a day to the masses of the sea that keep us afloat.
Today, June 8, marks World Oceans Day – a day to come together to celebrate the “beauty, wealth, and the promise of the ocean.” And this year it’s all about “our oceans, our future,” a theme that couldn’t be more appropriate for 2017 given the enormous emphasize that’s been put on climate change and the environment. But being as the ocean is of great importance, don’t you think it deserves more than one day of celebrations?
If you’re in search of ways to celebrate World Oceans Day not just today but every day, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve made a list of our top three ways to show our appreciation for the ocean.
1. Use Reusable Water Bottles
Plastic water bottles are easily accessible and convenient but according to government estimates, they can take a whopping 450 years to decompose – an outrageous amount of time considering how easy it is to use a reusable water bottle instead. EcoWatch also points out that plastic makes up about 90 percent of all trash found floating on the ocean’s surface with 46,000 pieces of plastic per square mile. These numbers help put into perspective just how toxic plastic is for the ocean and environment.
So, if you haven’t already, World Oceans Day is the perfect excuse to make the switch from plastic water bottles to stainless steel water bottles or another type of container made from eco-friendly materials.
2. Participate in a Beach Clean-Up
Plastic water bottles are just one type of trash that can be found polluting our oceans. Other top items include straws, stirrers, plastic bags, caps, lids, food wrappers, cigarette filters, and beverage cans. With millions of pieces of plastic and trash washing ashore and littering our oceans and beaches, it’s almost impossible for coastal councils to keep on top of the mess without the help of volunteers.
If you live in a coastal town or near a beach, there are bound to be local beach clean-up programs you can get involved in. If for some reason there aren’t any, why not start one? If you’re based inland or far from the ocean, look into clean-up programs at local or national parks instead.
3. Opt for Sustainable Seafood
Many people don’t realize how unhealthy our relationship is with our oceans. At one point, seafood seemed bountiful but more recently, the world’s fisheries are being pushed to the brink. According to National Geographic, “70 percent are exploited, overexploited, or have already suffered a collapse.” Another source predicts that by 2048, there won’t be any more edible fish in the ocean.
One way to balance our ocean ecosystems is to opt for sustainable seafood. Find out where your seafood is sourced and avoid fish farms. Sustainable fisheries will target species that are plentiful and that can reproduce quickly to replenish their populations. If you’re unsure which restaurants offer ocean-friendly seafood, the Monterey Bay Aquarium has designed an app called “Seafood Watch” that will help guide you to sustainable seafood.
Looking for more ways to get involved in World Oceans Day? You can browse hundreds of events on WorldOceansDay’s event map here.