Anyone who knows me knows that the environment is something extremely important to me. For example, my former major when I was at WSU surrounded biology and geology, my dad is an environmental scientist working to clean up pollution that’s underground, and there’s nothing I would rather do than be outside when the sun is shining especially if I can be near the ocean or the Puget Sound which is only two miles away from my front door. Regardless of any opinions on climate change, what I’m really here to talk about is the treatment of our environment – specifically the oceans – and things that I want to bring to more people’s attention.
Maybe it’s the curse of having a bleeding heart, but whenever I see pictures of garbage polluting the middle of the ocean, such as The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which is said to be as large as Texas, or those awful images of marine life swimming along in a plastic bag or seals with plastic wrapped around their neck and cutting their skin in half as they grow – I know something needs to be done.
I’m going to try and source as much as I can, but most of the information I talk about comes from what I’ve learned from school. And I am, by no means, saying that I am the queen of recycling, but I’m trying to figure out ways to improve the amount of garbage that leaves my home. I think that there are small steps everyone can take that can make a huge difference when added up.
Why does this matter to me? You might ask – which is completely fair considering you probably don’t live in the ocean. It’s not just the probability that there will be more pieces of plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050 (source) or the fact that it doesn’t look very good. The garbage in the ocean could actually be the end of mankind as we know it.
The list goes on and on, but I will only bring up two reasons we should all collectively care a little bit more.
The first is, as plastic breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces, fish will eat it or breathe it in and if we eat those fish, we can then inject chemicals that are directly linked to cancer or even cause birth defects in our offspring (source). Really, the only way to avoid this is to eat less seafood, but, for me at least, I don’t want to do that.
Secondly, 70% of the oxygen in the world comes from marine plants (source). If we damage the ocean’s ecosystem past the point of no return because of some marine life becoming endangered or going extinct, we will pay dearly for it and have a lot more to worry about.
Last year, I talked on Instagram about 4Ocean and all that they’re doing to clean up coastlines. If you buy one of their bracelets, their team will pull a pound of trash from the ocean. You pay money, get a bracelet, and don’t even have to touch trash if you don’t want to! What I like about their brand is you can purchase a monthly bracelet that supports a different type of conservation project every month and the designs are never the same unless you buy their original dark blue one.
This year, I’m happy to have found another company interested in preserving the ocean –Bright Swimwear. Not only does 10% of each purchase go to cleaning up the ocean and beaches, but they can also guarantee quality in each one of their designs because they are based and produced in Sweden.
To conclude, any effort to help our oceans is valuable such as using less plastic or being conscious as to where it’s going when you throw it away or, hopefully, recycle. A lot of brands are starting to go green. I know it’s a marketing strategy, but I’ll take it! This Earth Day, I just want to keep the conversation going about helping the Earth be able to continue to support us and our children for generations to come.
Thank you so much for reading this far – I hope it resonates with someone!