Ocean pollution has become an epidemic, by starting now we can start to change that.
How do we face the harsh reality of ocean pollution we’re realizing and stay positive about it? Knowing that just off the coast of California lies the largest oceanic garbage site IN THE WORLD is not something we should be proud of. It’s sad but true, we’ve successfully created a Pacific trash vortex, not just in the Central North Pacific Ocean, but all over the world.
What is Ocean Pollution?
Ocean pollution (aka marine pollution) is the release of harmful substances such as plastic, oil, agricultural and industrial waste and not leaving out the chemical particles. It’s no breaking news that these oceans provide home for the marine animals and plants that we know of today.
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(infographic by the boomerang alliance)
It’s human negligence that caused this enormous pollution, and it needs to start with all of us to deal with the solution. Just to put things into perspective here are some should-be alarming statistics about the volume of damage we inflicted to the oceans.
- More than 18 billion pounds of plastic waste gets into oceans yearly
- There are more than 45,000 pieces of plastic in every square mile of ocean
- By the year 2050 plastic will weight more than all the fish in the sea
- Around 100,000 marine animals die from plastic entanglement yearly, along with a large number of seabirds casualties
- There are more than 500 dead zones where pollution makes life impossible for both marine and plant life
Read more about the composition of micro-plastics here
Animals can’t distinguish plastic from food, so they are ingesting it. This is making them starve to death in the end. It’s not just their problem though. Like many things in our planet, there is a circle of life and movement, all this plastic pollution comes back to us, the villains. Fish that eat micro-plastic fragments come to our dining tables, and we’re just beginning to see how that impacts our health.
Research has shown that ingesting these micro-plastics is a main contributor to diseases such as: Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Heart disease. It doesn’t end there with damage to our nervous system, kidneys and liver, endocrine system and hormonal imbalances. Ourselves aside – one thing is for sure, destroying pristine marine eco-systems and their environment can’t be left neglected to our irreplaceable earth health and balance.
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Biggest Causes of Ocean Pollution
This might be a rhetorical topic to write on as we all are guilty of making this place inhabitable for these marine organisms. When human beings start to mine for material such as gold and copper, this monster is lurking behind. The copper that we mine today is a major pollutant in the ocean and it also disrupts with the life cycles of all marine organisms. One statistic was revealed recently that brought forth the fact that in 2014, over 5000 sq. miles of the Gulf of Mexico was almost devoid of life, no thanks to us.
Pollution can enter the ocean in different ways. Sewage is one of them. Pollutants flow directly from sewage, rivers, or drainages directly into our precious oceans. Also, when objects that started out far inland found their way into the ocean due to the wind. Believe it or not, this is one of the largest sources of oceanic pollution.
Be the Change- Tips on How to Reduce Plastic Waste
If you think that you can’t change anything by yourself, remember that the little day to day things stack and add up which ultimately make a big difference. If we could respect nature as much as we do ourselves, it would be a good catalyst for a change in our behavior. There is more than a couple of ways you can help reduce ocean pollution today. Let’s dive in!
✓ Resist Single-Use Plastics
Some companies already ditched plastic straws and cups, but there are so many more unnecessary products like plastic bags, water or soda bottles, take-out food containers and dry-cleaning bags to avoid using. Find alternatives, maybe one by one. Start with reusable shopping bags and work your way to others down the list and begin to replace. Always remember it’s not that hard, just a small step outside of your comfort zone and you’re a hero for the environment. Choose not to contribute to 12 million metric tons of plastic that already goes into our oceans every year.
Another thing you could do daily that makes a big difference is recycling. This isn’t new to us, we’re all aware and have heard about it and have come a long way in the past decades. It’s not there isn’t room for improvement where we could always do a little better. Help change the fact that only 9 percent of plastic is currently recycled in the world. You can find how and where to recycle locally or visit earth911.com for more info and resources.
✓ Beach Cleaning and Activism
After these everyday little big changes, there are some affirmative actions you can take as well. The ones that demand a bit more effort like helping clean up beaches or river shores, or just taking a stand with supporting bans on usage of plastic bags, straws, bottles and more.
If it’s too much for you to get personally involved (don’t quit on avoiding single-use plastic though), try to support an organization that tackles these issues like Plastic Bank, Ocean Conservancy, Plastic Pollution Coalition and many others.
✓ Community and Spreading the Word
A wise man once said that the greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it. The Awaken Wave is one providing statement fashion and accessories to help raise awareness, as well as funds to make a sustainable difference for our planet. Every purchase from the site’s proceeds go toward the leading organizations making a real positive impact on our planet’s future. They support Earth Justice, Greenpeace, The World Wildlife Fund and The Ocean Cleanup. Their community of followers promote awareness and reach out to help spread the word by simply wearing the apparel with statement designs proudly.
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Environmentalists Showing Support Through Statement Fashion
Putting it All Together
Embracing new lifestyle micro changes is simple and ultimately about leverage by the masses. The more who get involved will mean a much more sizable ecological change in the right direction. It begins with awareness, inform your social circle and family, make a post, join a support community or wear statement apparel. In the end it’s an excellent way to inspire others.
The more active you become regarding tackling ocean pollution, the more you will have the incentive to spread the word and lure your inner and outer circle from the dark side. So spread the word and engage in an active, positive mindset. Let’s promote and incorporate the changes we need today so tomorrow is something we can be proud of!
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