June 8th is World Oceans Day, the UN-designated day for the global community to celebrate and take action for our shared ocean. This year, take a moment to make change on two little-known but all-important issues: global warming and ocean acidification.
Carbon emissions from human activity are changing the Earth’s climate, leading to rising sea levels, and contributing to more frequent and intense extreme weather events that directly threaten every one of us–no matter whether we live along the coast or far inland. Recent public surveys show that ocean acidification is not yet well known but it’s an issue that will become much more prominent, and, fortunately, you can help make a real difference!
Get Green Power
Use cleaner and healthier alternatives to fossil fuels and advocate for more! Buying green energy for your home is one of the best ways to reduce your carbon emissions. You can find some resources on Global Energy Network Institute. If you live in the US, check the EPA’s Green Power Partnership.
Get out your bike or buy a used one, take public transportation more regularly, try car sharing, seek carpooling partners, or consider telecommuting on the phone or video service such as Skype. Every time you skip the car for one of these alternatives, you help our ocean!
Buy less stuff
Think before you buy and ask whether you really need something, or if you can get it used. Not only will you be helping the ocean but also the fun new hobby of thrifting is a great form of self expression, especially when it comes to things like clothing or home goods, where a vintage item can have more personality and quality than buying new at a store. If you’re in the US, you can click here to find a thrift store near you.
Encourage local government leadership
Get your mayor to commit to helping by signing on to a coalition for the protection of the climate (e.g. Cities for Climate Protection Campaign or Mayors for Climate Protection). Many national governments are failing to take adequate action in a timely fashion, so we can each help at the local level to make the push for a safer, healthier blue planet. Plus, the more we do on the local front, the easier it becomes for national and global action with real “teeth” to make a difference in our lifetimes.
Vote with your dollars
Support socially responsible companies, and do your research to make sure it’s not just green washing or mere lip service to environmental protection. You can use websites like EthicalConsumer.org to check out companies and products. Check a corporation’s reputation against multiple websites and make the best choice.
There are hundreds of events being held all over the world, find one near you and celebrate with a purpose this World Oceans Day. You can also go the extra mile and organize an event yourself using ideas and free materials provided at WorldOceansDay.org!