Today Andrew and I wanted to highlight a post on Traveller 24 by Sam Smith (not that one) entitled “Save our ocean life with these six promises.” In honour of National Marine Week in Cape Town, South Africa, Sam lays out six easy things everyone can do to help clean up our ocean habitats. Below is our summary of his post, but read the original here.
- Use reusable bags instead of single-use plastic ones. This is such an easy thing to do once you get in the habit of leaving a couple tote bags in your car. I use a good sized bag I got at a Nationals game for my groceries to use less plastic and spread Natty cheer. I know I’m not the only one who stays away from single-use plastic, but we need more shoppers to join us.
- Drink only tap water. This tip is eco-friendly and cost-effective. If you’ve constantly got money on your mind, drinking tap water could save you $30 a month. It also prevents plastic water bottles from becoming marine pollution, something that is very toxic to ocean critters.
- No straws. I know this may sound extreme, but stay with me. If you saw the video SUFB posted a couple weeks ago of the sea turtle with a straw in its nose, you know how much pain a single plastic straw can cause. Additionally, straws are one of the most pointless inventions we use everyday; very few people actually need to drink from straws. Considering the good you can do by cutting back your own personal straw usage (again, they’re single-use plastics), this suggestions is certainly worth a try.
- No balloons. Again, a suggestion that at first glance seems overcautious. Everyone loves balloons. However, nothing can poison a sea turtle like they can. Deflated balloons typically, ultimately, end up in the ocean. And they look a lot like a sea turtle’s favourite food, jellyfish. Once they eat the balloon, the chemicals from the plastic leach into the turtle’s tissues and digestive system. That, obviously, is not a good thing.
- Cut your loops. What Sam is talking about here is the plastic rings that hold six-pack cans together. If they’re tossed in landfills, these rings can wash out into the ocean and latch onto fish and other animals. Again, this is just another example of cutting down on plastic pollution.
- Bin your butts. A real pet peeve of Andrew’s (and anybody with a heart), throwing cigarette butts on the ground is just completely pointless. Lay them down in an ashtray or some other proper disposal container. Since cigarettes are the most common litter item, are toxic to animals, and are not biodegradable, binning them would really go a long way towards helping us clean up the ocean.