You may have read my previous post on the effects of pollution on the world’s oceans. If you haven’t, check it out here. It will give you a good base point that you can refer to when reading this article.
The effects of ocean pollution can have a devastating effect on our environment and the health of our oceans. Marine pollution can cover litter, sewage, oil spills, land runoff, industrial chemicals and toxins, ocean mining and littering to name a few of the main culprits. The effects pollution can have on the environment can be detrimental. Preventing ocean pollution is vital for the well-being of the sea and marine life. So, how do we work together to prevent ocean pollution?
1. Use Less Plastic
To help prevent ocean pollution, use fewer plastic products. Plastic is one of the most common ocean pollutants and tonnes of it ends up in our oceans every year, contributing to habitat destruction and killing thousands of marine animals every year. My suggestion, to limit your impact, would be to carry a reusable water bottle so you don’t need to constantly purchase plastic bottles. You can also store food in non-disposable containers, bring your own bags when shopping and recycle whenever possible.
2. Organise a Beach Clean-Up
Help take care of your local beach by organising a beach clean-up and help others to respect the marine environment too. Picking up other people’s rubbish is an effective way to help reduce pollution on our beaches and in the ocean. Beach clean-ups are an immense help in reducing marine pollution. Whatever you enjoy doing at the beach, whether it’s swimming, sunbathing, walking, rock-pooling or snorkelling, always ensure you clean up after yourself and leave the beach as you found it.
3. Ocean-Friendly Pets
If you own a pet, do your bit to reduce ocean pollution by being wary of pet food labels. Consider seafood sustainability when choosing food for your pet. Pet food can often be harmful to marine environments if it is not sourced sustainably. If you enjoy keeping fish as pets, avoid filling your aquarium with wild-caught saltwater fish and never release any aquarium fish into the ocean or other bodies of water as this can introduce non-native species that are harmful to an existing ecosystem.
4. Responsible Boating
If you enjoy being out on the ocean, rather than swimming in it, practice responsible boating and other recreational activities on the water. If you are out on the water a lot, do your research and be sure you find the eco-friendliest option so that you can enjoy being out on the ocean without the worry of polluting it! I would also encourage you to be aware of marine life in the waters around you and never throw anything overboard. Always take your rubbish and belongings home with you.
5. Reduce Your Rubbish
Speaking of rubbish, studies have shown that over 80% of marine pollution comes from the land. So, one of the ways you can reduce this statistic is by responsibly disposing of your rubbish. If we reduce the amount of rubbish that is made on land, it is likely there will be less that ends up in our oceans. The best place to start, when it comes to pollution, is with you. You can reduce your own rubbish, whether at home or out and about. Here at James Waste, we will always encourage you to recycle or reuse!
6. Storm Water Drains
Storm water drains are an effective way of draining the excess drain water on our streets. However, most drains flow straight out to sea which means, whatever streams through the drains, also flows into the oceans. Storm drains can carry a lot of debris and pollution within their pipes from cigarette butts, oil from cars, litter and much more. All this pollution is then washed into our oceans. That’s why it is important to throw your rubbish into the bin rather than littering the street.
7. Care for Your Local Stream
If you live near a stream, then you are very lucky as they are one of nature’s many beauties. As most streams find their way to the ocean, taking care of them can greatly reduce marine life pollution. Streams often pick up sediment solution which then gets washed into our ocean’s. Sediment pollution occurs when soil enters the flow of water and gets carried to the ocean. A small amount of sediment pollution is a natural occurrence. However, if it is excessive and a lot of it is entering the oceans, it can become a problem. The likelihood of sediment pollution is greatly increased when human activities such as earthworks or landscaping occur near where the streams are.
Taking care of your local stream can include clearing it of rubbish or planting trees near the stream to help strengthen them and reduce the likelihood of erosion.
8. Show Your Support
If you don’t live near a beach but you are keen to support the ongoing work to reduce pollution on our shores and in our oceans, then show your support for organisations working hard to protect them. Many institutes and organisations are fighting to protect ocean habitats and marine wildlife. Do your research and find an organisation you feel excited about supporting.
Here at James Waste, we are passionate about preserving our oceans and reducing pollution. I hope you have found this article useful and informative. Be sure to put some of my tips into practice and let me know how you get on – I would love to hear from you! Alternatively, for more information, contact us today and a member of our team will be on-hand to answer any questions you may have.