In honour of World Oceans Day, held annually on the 8th June, The Ocean Project is asking everyone to make a pledge in order to help preserve the ocean and the species that live within it. By making an 'ocean promise' it is hoped that not only will more people realise that it doesn't take a huge amount of effort to make a change for better, but that also that it is the responsibility of all to protect our oceans and take marine conservation seriously.
Image courtesy of World Oceans Day
The most common pledges have been things like promising to stop using plastic bags altogether and only use reusable planet friendly bags when going shopping. This will help prevent plastic making its way to the ocean and causing fatalities for sea creatures, such as turtles, that become entangled in the bags. Many people are making a pledge to only eat sustainably sourced fish, where the method and location of the sourcing is known. This could have a dramatic effect on the fishing industry; as this action will encourage bigger fishing companies with more influence to develop more sustainable methods of sourcing their stocks. The aim being to keep the numbers of fish in the oceans to a maximum and the number of non-targeted species slaughtered to a minimum.
Pledging to take shorter showers, using a smaller amount of water for baths, and doing the washing up in a bowl in the sink are all easy ways to reduce your personal water usage. Families have been taking pledges together, deciding to make sure that they each pick up 3 pieces of rubbish every time they are at the beach. Pledges to use reusable water bottles will help reduce the amount of plastic taken to landfills, and amount of stray plastic bottles that end up in the sea, harming wildlife and causing pollution.
Others have pledged to have one day a week where the eat meat or seafood free, as this will cut down their personal water usage. Over 1,000 gallons of water is polluted and used to produce and farm the meat or seafood you eat in one sitting, in comparison to only 25 gallons to produce and farm a plant based ocean friendly meal. So you will significantly reduce your water usage if you have one meat or seafood free day every week. The ultimate pledge challenge comes from Go Green for Blue, which asks people to give the oceans a break by only eating plant based meals for one week, meaning that those who complete this challenge will save 5,000 gallons of water from being used and polluted!
It's so easy to make a simple pledge that won't change your life too much but will have a positive effect on the conservation of the ocean. Pick one that has already been suggested, or think up a pledge of your own to keep that will allow you to make your own personal contribution to the protection of the ocean. You can promise to take public transportation to school/work once a week, unplug your chargers when you're not using them, or participate in a litter clean-up, to name but a few. All of these actions will make a difference and you will be actively helping to look after the planet.
Author Ellie Cambridge, who will be partaking in the Go Green for Blue challenge and pledging to eat no meat or fish for a week, is an Online Journalism Intern at Frontier, an international non-profit volunteering NGO that runs 320 conservation, community, and adventure projects in 57 countries across the globe. She can be found blogging on Frontier's Gap Year Blog or posting on the Frontier Official Facebook page.