Happy World Oceans Day! Although our oceans have much to offer...they are at risk due to climate change and pollution.
So today we ask: what is the problem and how can we help?
"The Átl’ka7tsem/Howe Sound UNESCO Biosphere Region appreciates the volunteers and artists participating in Diving In: The Art of Cleaning Lakes and Oceans. One of the UN targets for sustainable development is SDG 14 Life Under Water. Target number one is to reduce ocean pollution. This collaboration raises awareness to be mindful of what we put in the ocean and lakes that do not belong there. The divers and artists have a positive impact locally on a global problem; now, it is up to all of us to do the same."
Ruth Simons, Lead,Howe Sound Biosphere Region Initiative Society Átl’ka7tsem/Howe Sound UNESCO Biosphere Region
THE BIGGER ISSUES
The oceans, and the interconnected cycle of water and waterways, are vital to
all living things on Earth. Tragically, the health of our oceans, and by extension the well-being of all life on Earth, is at risk due largely to the impacts of human activity. Plastic is pervasive in our oceans and it’s going to take a deep, transformational change in humanity’s consciousness and activities to ensure healthy, sustainable life on this planet.
Around 11 million tonnes of plastics leak into the ocean each year. This is equal to dumping a garbage truck load of plastic into the ocean every minute! At this rate this number may triple by 2040.
But why does the ocean matter?
No oceans, no us:
Our oceans produce over 50% to 80% of the oxygen we breathe.
Our oceans control and regulate the climate, weather, and temperature.
Roughly 40% of carbon dioxide gets absorbed by our oceans.
Over one billion people rely on seafood as their primary source of protein.
So where do we go from here?
It takes each of us consciously shifting our behaviours for collective impact and meaningful change.
Content by: Ocean Wise
WITH EVERY PROBLEM THERE ARE SOLUTIONS
About Recycling in BC:
When you return your refundable beverage containers to a Return-It Depot, they’re separated into different categories of materials, like aluminum, plastic, and glass. The containers are then shipped to local processing plants mostly right here in BC, where the containers are processed into materials that can be used to make new products. Most of the time, they’re made into new beverage containers. This saves more energy compared with making products from raw virgin material, as it removes the need to mine them
Take plastic bottles, for example. Using recycled plastic provides an 86% savings in energy compared to creating new plastic. Likewise, it takes 5% of the energy to make a can from recycled aluminum than it does to mine the material and manufacture new cans. As long as you keep recycling your drink containers, these huge energy savings will alleviate pressure on the environment.
Recycling might seem like a small action, but it adds up to something much, much bigger: in 2016 alone, British Columbians recycled 92,910 tonnes of used beverage containers through the Return-It program. This is comparable to reducing 101,915 tonnes of CO2 equivalent from being released into the atmosphere. That’s like taking 29,000 cars off BC roads for a year!
Return it- it’s worth it!
Content by: Return-It
How you can help:
- Listen and learn from Indigenous Wisdom.
- Reduce one piece of plastic each week.
- Take on a plastic free challenge.
- Find alternatives to individually packaged items.
- Reduce online shopping and the waste (+ carbon footprint) it creates.
- Speak up - from business to government, ask for alternatives.
- Shop local.
- Choose vintage, second hand and handmade vs fast fashion.
- Do less laundry.
- Create a travel kit in a reusable bag (water bottle, cutlery, etc.)
- Join and support local organizations, creating plastic free change.
- Join a Cleanup, like this one- and learn from the art!
- Check out Ocean Wise and others to increase your awareness. Tell others.
Think you can’t make a difference? Think Again.
Content by: BlueMar4Change