5 Actions for the Ocean
We live on a blue planet. Our oceans and seas cover over 70 per cent of the Earth’s surface, they feed us, regulate our climate, and generate most of the oxygen we breathe.
Our oceans are facing unprecedented threats as a result of our consumption, waste and lifestyles. Every year, an estimated 8 million tonnes of plastic waste end up in the world’s oceans. Climate change is damaging coral reefs and other key ecosystems; overfishing is threatening the stability of fish stocks; nutrient pollution is contributing to the creation of dead zones; and nearly 80 per cent of the world’s wastewater is discharged without treatment.
MoveWell was born by the sea. Our simple motive was to provide the a better choice and reduce the amount of plastic and single use products that are recommended in thousands of clinics, on a daily basis, across the world. We are supported by a growing number of Associates and Brand Advocates that support our vision. We are hugely proud to be working alongside and learning from, Dr Easkey Britton - @easkeysurf, a life long ocean pioneer, surfer, scientist, author, social and environmental activist. In this article Easkey shares 5 simple things we can all do to help protect our Ocean Environment.
5 Actions for the Ocean
Become ocean literate. To be ocean literate means to understand how and why humans and the ocean are inextricably interconnected. We Are Ocean believe that by accelerating Ocean Literacy, “we will live in a society that understands the importance of the ocean to humankind, can talk about the ocean in a meaningful way and are able to make informed and responsible decisions regarding the ocean and it’s resources.” It means understanding the language of the sea and how it shapes and supports every aspect of our lives, from the air we breathe, the water we drink, to regulating our weather and climate, and even providing life-saving and cancer-curing medicines.
Restore your ocean connection. Pay more attention to your ocean connection. Step outside, or better yet step into water or the sea, and feel the gratitude we owe this blue planet for her beauty and abundance she has to offer. Research is evidencing how engaging with ‘blue space’ or water environments, especially the sea, can improve our wellbeing, altering our bio-chemistry, lighting up our mood and lowering stress hormones. One simple way to connect with the ocean, wherever you are, is to consciously breathe. We are always connected through our breath to the ocean. Our breath mirrors the ebb and flow of the tide, and calms our nervous system.
Act mindfully. The authors of ‘The Future We Choose: Surviving the Climate Crisis,’ emphasise the importance of a mindfulness practice that can help you “learn to create a gap of light between yourself, the world and your reactions.” Why does this matter for protecting our ocean? Everything we consume has an impact on the ocean, with 98% of all waste ending up in the sea where the cumulative effect of pollutants is reducing the resilience of entire ocean ecosystems with unpredictable and potentially disastrous consequences not only for marine life but human health too. Cultivating greater mindfulness allows us to become more conscious of our actions, to act as citizens and not consumers, to become aware of the power of our decisions and ‘vote’ by spending our money on ethical and sustainable products. Or better yet, reduce, reuse and recycle. One simple yet effective example of this ‘mindfulness-in-action’ is the Think Before You Flush campaign.
Reduce your carbon footprint. The climate, ocean and human health are all interlinked in complex and dynamic ways. The ocean has buffered us from the worst effects of climate change by absorbing 90% of global carbon dioxide emissions at a terrible cost leading to ocean warming and acidification - where the chemistry of the entire ocean is being drastically altered, dissolving the building blocks of life in the ocean. Doing all that we can do reduce fossil fuel emissions is essential for the survival of the ocean. Take a look at your life and identify how you can begin to reduce your carbon footprint by at least 50% in the next 10 years, in order to keep on track to meet global emission reduction targets. Slowing down just a little and, where possible, travelling less, or taking the bike / public transport / car pooling all helps. Buy products made to last, support local growers, eat less meat, only eat locally and sustainably caught seafood, switch to 100% renewable electricity. And most importantly, engage in politics and make climate change your number one issue. To quote Rebecca Solnit, “the billionaires and the fossil-fuel corporations are intensely engaged in politics and count on us staying on the sidelines… they are afraid of us, if we wake up, if we show up, if we exercise our power to counter theirs.” We are not powerless.
Give back. Participating in organised beach cleans (or street cleans) and taking part in initiatives like the 2 Minute Beach Clean can help foster greater social connection, as well as doing something good by taking care of your coast or local environment. Although it does not directly tackle the causes of marine pollution it does help ignite greater awareness and collective action.