The new year is upon us (for two weeks now), but it is never too late to make new resolutions or continue old ones, especially when it involves the Ocean. Many resolutions get made and broken fairly quickly. The trick is to create a resolution that is attainable to which you can commit for the next year, or preferably, for the rest of your life. This year, I created three resolutions:
1) I will not eat junk food (i.e. chocolate, fast food, candies) as it is my weakness and I find myself not being able to eat junk food in moderation;
2) I will lose up to 30 pounds through healthy eating and more intense exercise; and,
3) I will become an Ocean Leader and launch Speak Up for the Blue!
All are important and if you are reading this, I’ve completed the third resolution already.
Jean-Michele Cousteau suggests some resolutions in his newsletter that I received today, to which I highly recommend (Sign Up). He suggests some small things to reduce or eliminate that would help out the Oceans in the long run. I’ve cut and pasted the newsletter article here for your interest as I think they are great suggestions.
The beginning of a New Year is always a time to reflect on the past and set ambitious goals for the upcoming year. When making your New Year’s resolutions, did you add a few environmentally friendly practices you can follow all year to help save our water planet? Ocean Futures Society is dedicated to helping provide you with the tangible solutions, resources and ideas that will help guide you to take personal responsibility in ensuring long-term protection of our life-support system, the oceans.
We at Ocean Futures Society would like to take this opportunity to suggest a few resolutions to add to your list for the New Year. These simple yet valuable actions can guide us all toward a more sustainable future.
Walk your talk: drive less. The Gulf Oil Spill is a sobering reminder of our daily dependence on a non-renewable energy source- fossil fuels. We need to take immediate personal responsibility for our consumption of fossil fuels and make daily efforts to reduce it, whether by walking, carpooling, buying local, being energy efficient in all aspects of our lives or reducing our consumption of unnecessary goods.
Shop smart: please take your reusable bags. Petroleum, in addition to being our largest source of energy, is used in the manufacturing of plastics. Plastic is vital to many aspects of our lives, but we do not need plastic bags that are used for less than 15 minutes to carry our groceries home. Reusable bags are the obvious alternative. Over 90 percent of plastic bags get thrown away, only to linger on our planet for tens of thousands of years. We need to turn the tide on plastic pollution in the ocean and it starts with you, one reusable shopping bag at a time.
Junk the junk mail. The average person receives 11 pieces of junk mail per week, or 560 pieces a year (and the average person wastes 70 hours a year dealing with junk mail). That amounts to 4.5 million tons of junk mail each year with most going to the landfill unopened! This totals approximately 100 million trees being cut down, which equates to more greenhouse gas emissions than 9 million cars. Join OFS in taking a quick, easy step in reducing your junk mail by joining 41pounds.org.
Enjoy a seafood dinner but make it an ocean friendly meal. Overfishing is causing fisheries to crash all around the world. Use your Seafood Watch Guide and support fisheries that are well-managed, sustainable and using fishing practices that are not damaging to the environment. In this New Year, may we all appreciate and respect where our seafood comes from and value the decisions of governments and policymakers to create more marine protected areas, that protect hot spots of diversity and breeding grounds and nurseries of harvestable species. It is a win/win situation for all species great and small, as well as those of us who enjoy the rich protein source from the sea.
May this be the year we make ocean conservation a top priority in all aspects of our society, from government to industry to local communities. It all starts with the individual…one New Year’s resolution at a time. We appreciate and value your support. May we all remember, protecting the ocean is protecting ourselves.
Jean-Michel Cousteau, President