Today we celebrate World Oceans Day! Any kind of environmental day is very close to my heart. One of my hobbies is picking up trash while my fiancé goes for a run on the beach. I don't think everyone realizes how small every-day decisions has a butterfly effect on planet Earth. Ocean day is all about making people aware of endangered VS non-endangered fish and helping people realize how our trash ends up in the ocean and why that's so bad.
Here's 6 things that come to mind that you can do to protect the ocean...
I didn't ever think I would be wearing a mask over my mouth and nose day in and day out but yeah - that's our reality right now. It's something that we have to do so you can just as well make it the sustainable option. Disposable masks for every day use is just silly. It makes sense for people working in hospitals but like us working in retail, reusable masks are the way to go. If they are made from cotton - oven better. I've got about 5 and I wash them after a day's use and then rotate them accordingly. Disposable masks are not recyclable and just in the last week I've seen about 3 lying around on the grass outside my building. Those that don't get thrown away responsibly end up endangering wildlife - on land and in the sea.
It's not just masks though, plastic bags and single use straws have the same story - swop these out for reusable options as well. Support shops that use paper shopping bags and get yourself a bamboo straw to use at restaurants or just drink from the glass.
Take a moment to take this in: Every toothbrush that you've ever used still exists.
It's a powerful statement but the first time I heard it it shook me to my core. Toothbrushes cannot be recycled. They end up in landfills and somehow end up in the ocean. I don't know how they get there but I can't tell you how many toothbrush pieces I've picked up on the beach. Opt for bamboo toothbrushes with natural fibers. If the bristles are natural you can actually chuck it in your compost heap when it's become too warn out.
Be careful of any beauty or skincare product that contains little grains - I don't know if that's the right word but it's like those little balls that are in facial scrubs, body washes or polishing toothpastes. Many times those little balls are made from plastic - shocking right!? And when you wash your face they go straight down the drain and end up where? The ocean. Luckily some of the more natural brands use things like bamboo fiber, mineral powders or apricot granules to get the same effect. Micro-plastics are everywhere and unfortunately end up in our food and in our bodies.
We all know about the issue around plastic packaging but hopefully a lot of it can at least be recycled when managed by a conscious shopper. I'm more worried about what's in the bottle. Preservatives, parabens, bleach and more toxic chemicals are in our every day body and household products. These chemical ingredients get washed to sea and do lots of harm. Shop for products that are natural, chemical free and biodegradable.
5. Take more than you leave
When it comes to flowers and seashells they always say give more than you take, but in the case of pollution I say take more than you leave. By this I mean every time you are outside or at the beach. Pick up as much as you can and only leave your footsteps behind. If your town hosts it - join beach clean ups - they are super fun!
I know I'm repeating myself with the whole chemical-free thing but I feel sunscreen is worth the extra mention. Commercial sunscreens contain really bad chemicals that harm the fishes and corral reefs. So make sure to get yourself a natural sunscreen that's reef safe if you want to spend your time at the beach in the water.
You can shop for natural products here: https://www.namohealth.co.za/search-results/q-eco/qc-products
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