June 8th will mark the wonderful World Ocean Day, officially recognised by the United Nations in 2008 as both an annual celebration and a call for ocean conservation action throughout the year.
World Ocean Day 2021 is shaping up to be one of the most impactful yet, with activities, celebrations and a range of physical and virtual events planned throughout the month. Hundreds of organisations, including schools, aquariums and zoos, are getting involved to support increased protection for our shared ocean.
“It’s so inspiring to see so many youth change-makers from around our blue planet that share the same passions and ideas, and more importantly, a burning and unquenchable desire for improvement.” – Natalie Ashkar, World Ocean Day Youth Advisory Council representative.
Here are just a couple of things you can consider this World Ocean Day, to care for our canals, revive our rivers, save our seas, and protect our (blue) planet.
Say no to single-use – plastic debris in the form of water bottles, carrier bags, period products, coffee cups and many more household items is still a major issue when it comes to our waterways. Accounting for the deaths of more than a million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals every year, it’s time to reject single-use plastic once and for all, and switch to reusable products.
Avoid microplastics – from glitter to clothing and lipsticks to paints, microplastics are tiny fragments of plastic which also harm marine life. Though microbeads are now banned in personal care products that are rinsed off, such as shampoo and toothpaste, there are still many products that use microplastics, so please be cautious and always consider eco-friendly alternatives.
Make responsible food choices – in the words of Finding Nemo… fish are friends, not food. With fishing the biggest threat to marine biodiversity, and global fish populations rapidly decreasing due to high demand and unsustainable fishing practices, we urge you to seek out responsibly-sourced MSC-certified fish if you are a lover of seafood. But ultimately, consider if you could go without.
Use reef-safe suncream – the chemicals frequently found in suncream are poisonous to marine life and vital ecosystems, causing coral reefs to suffer. But these substances are becoming more recognised as harmful, and there’s an increasing number of eco-friendly mineral sunscreams emerging. Opt for these instead, highly effective in UV protection and so much kinder to our oceans.
Keep learning – whether it’s watching the epic Blue Planet and shocking Seaspiracy, joining iDiveblue’s incredible community of ocean lovers and following their authentic content, or striking up a conversation with friends and family, the world is your oyster when it comes to learning more. There is an ocean of possibilities to improve all of our knowledge and make meaningful changes.
“Young people have an important part to play in ensuring a sustainable future for our planet’s ocean. With the hard work of passionate young people from all over the world, I am hopeful and optimistic about the future.” – Belinda Ng, World Ocean Day Youth Advisory Council representative.
Take a look at thousands of ocean events happening worldwide at http://www.worldoceanday.org/events and tell us how you will be celebrating in the comments below.