Many of you have been making new year’s resolutions over the past week to create a better life. I thought I would introduce another resolution that will help the you live for a better Ocean. Take a listen to hear the different ways you can commit to this New Year’s Resolution.
You may not realize it, but practically every decision we make at the grocery store impacts our oceans in one way or another. Some of these decisions are obvious; buying fish that are overharvested or caught in environmentally-damaging ways financially supports these practices. Apps like Seafood Watch or Ocean Wise can help you make more ocean-friendly decisions by providing information on catch methods and risk factors associated with popular seafood items. However, even food that doesn’t come from the ocean can still potentially harm it. Anytime food is shipped long distances, for example from a small farm in California to a grocery store in New York, that transaction contributed to our global carbon emissions. These emissions contribute to climate change and ocean acidification, two of the most prominent threats to marine ecosystems worldwide. Buying food locally, especially produce that is in season, cuts down or eliminates carbon emissions associated with the transit process.
You can also help protect our oceans by purchasing and using natural cleaning products in your home. Soaps, detergents, and other cleaning agents frequently include harsh chemicals that can be fatal to wildlife. This is why most people don’t water their plants with Tide with Febreze, even though it gives your garden that so fresh and so clean smell. By incorporating more natural yet effective cleaning supplies into your spring cleaning, you’re not only supporting companies that prioritize eco-friendly manufacturing processes but also ensuring you’re not exposing your household or local wildlife to potentially harmful chemicals.
A lot of times, decisions that end up benefiting the ocean also benefit your wallet/purse/Ziploc bag of quarters. This is especially true when it comes to personal energy usage. Heating or cooling your home not only uses a lot of energy, which in turn increases carbon emissions, but also can get pretty expensive. Digital thermostats and tools like Chai Energy can help you keep track of when you choose to heat/cool your home and how much energy you’re using. Another pro tip for saving money and saving the planet? Drive less. Biking, walking, and carpooling are all favorable to spending money on gas that is ultimately going to trap more CO2 in our atmosphere and harm our marine habitats.
In general, purchasing products from suppliers who are known to invest in the health of our environment is a smart decision. Websites like B Corporation can help get you started with this one. All the for-profit companies on this website have gone through a rigorous certification program that ensures they are environmentally responsible and socially conscious. Whether they have taken steps to reduce their carbon footprint, support environmental restoration programs, or simply use less packaging for their products to cut down on their operational waste, these companies all have taken steps to reduce their negative impact on our environment. And by adopting similar strategies in our daily life (such as one of the four mentioned here), we can too.
Enjoy the Podcast!