By Nathalie, content and translations at SeaBookings, who’d like to share some tips about the things you can do to help save the oceans.
At SeaBookings, we are all passionate lovers of the sea and of our blue planet. We are so thankful for the waters of the sea that gives us life and make a life on earth possible. However, we do also recognise our responsibility to take care of these waters and to protect them so that future generations will be able to enjoy the sea as much as we do! That’s why we think it is important we share 11 things you can do to help save the oceans with you!
1. Pick-up (at least) 5 pieces of plastic on every beach walk
The first thing you can do to help save the ocean is really easy and can be done literally anywhere and by anyone! Whenever you go to the beach, just pick up 5 pieces of plastic! At the beach, it’s especially important to help save the ocean, but even if you go for a walk in the city or wherever you live, make it your goal to always pick up at least 5 pieces of plastic! This is a minimal effort but if more people commit to it, it can make a huge difference!
There are some nice movements going on regarding picking up litter. We really like “LitterHero” based on two main ideas: Think Global & Act Local. What makes them different is that they are building a global alliance of local Litter Hero groups into a world-wide force to prevent and eliminate litter. They have several initiatives in Lagos, Portugal, and we’ll be there! You too?
2. Say NO to plastic straws
Luckily, this one on our list of 11 things you can do to help save the oceans has been becoming more and more of a topic and many restaurants and cafés are already aware of the problem of plastic straws. Did you know that the Marina de Lagos has launched a pioneering campaign in Portugal to abolish single-use plastic straws, as a way to contribute directly to the reduction of plastic in the oceans? Let’s hope many other Marinas and institutions follow soon!
However, there are still many places where they give you automatically a plastic straw with your drink, most of the times even wrapped in plastic as well. Just say “without straw, please” when you order a drink that’s likely to be served with a straw. Step by step this little gesture will help reducing the amount of plastic straws being used!
3. Bring your own bags to the supermarket
Unfortunately, most supermarkets still make clients use plastic bags for fruits and veggies out of convenience. But if you re-use those plastic bags every time you go shopping, you already help to reduce the use of single-use plastic bags! And there are even shopping bags you can buy that are made of see-through fabric and that you can re-use as many times you want, like these ones. This way you can completely get rid of using single-use plastic bags at the shops!
4. Make sure you only consume sustainably-caught fish
If you are a seafood lover, one of the things you can do to help save the oceans is making sure you only buy and consume ethically caught fish! The overfishing and the way commercial fishing is done is very often harmful to not only the fish that are caught but also to many other species like dolphins and other sea life. That’s why making sure your fish has been caught in a less harmful way is very important! The app Seafood Watch, for example, can help you find “ocean-friendly” seafood!
5. Avoid plastic lids on takeaway cups and use your own refilable bottle or cup
When you are on the run and grab a coffee, smoothie or whatever kind of drink along the way, make sure you try to avoid taking a lid for your cup! These lids are also single-use plastic items that are simply not necessary and can be avoided simply by saying “No thank you!”. Even better – always carry around your own cup or thermos flask with you and just ask the people to pour the drink directly into your own flask or reusable cup!
6. Bring your own takeaway containers
This one comes together with number 5 of the 11 things you can do to help save the oceans. Just like carrying your own flask for takeaway drinks, you can also plan ahead and bring your own takeaway container when you have to do a takeaway for food! There are affordable glass containers at every supermarket that you can buy, and if you carry one of them in your bag you’re always prepared for food emergencies, or if you can’t eat all the food at the restaurant! So much single-use plastic can be avoided by being one step ahead and having containers in your bag.
7. Avoid using cosmetics with micro-plastic
This one is not only for the health of the planet and the oceans but also for your own wellbeing! At some point, the cosmetic industry decided it was a good idea to use micro-plastic particles in cosmetics like deodorants, body scrubs and many other items. This is super harmful to both your health and means a lot more plastic pollution for the oceans as well! So next time you buy cosmetics, make sure you check out the list of ingredients and avoid buying those using plastic particles – for your and the oceans sake!
Luckily, recycling is a topic that has been covered broadly by many countries already. Recycling your rubbish is super easy and makes a huge impact on the environment. But also think about recycling on a bigger scale and think about reducing – do you really need to buy a new phone, or do you know someone who is selling one that is barely used? Same with laptops and other technical equipment. And of course cars – producing a new car has a huge environmental impact. So why not save money and buy a used car? Recycling is possible in so many ways, and one of the 11 things you can do to help save the ocean!
9. Try a boat tour on a solar boat
At SeaBookings, we already have two solar boat tours available – one in the Algarve in Ria Formosa and one in Lisbon! We believe this sustainable form of enjoying a boat tour could be the future of boat tours, so we’re more than happy to already be part of this new movement. If you can, try to choose a tour on a solar boat and thus reducing your carbon footprint while still having a great experience!
10. Don’t abandon your beach toys (inflatables and sand toy sets) on the beach
There are so many deserted plastic toys and inflatables roaming through the oceans of the world and being a huge threat to sea life. So next time you are at the beach, make sure to take all your belongings with you and try re-using them instead of throwing them away straight away. Also, if you see that somebody else has abandoned some of their beach toys, make sure to pick it up and placing it in a (recycling) bin! The fish will thank you immensely.
11. Use a portable ashtray on the beach
Surely there is nothing more unpleasant than laying down your towel in the sand just to see that all around you there are hundreds, thousands of cigarette buds. If you smoke, make sure to use a portable ashtray on the beach or anything else to take your cigarette buds with you and putting them in the bin. This way, the beaches will be cleaner and people can enjoy it more!
As you can see, all of the 11 things you can do to help save the oceans are super easy to implement in your daily life. And if everybody does their part, we can work together to help save the ocean! There are also campaigns like the Planet or Plastic Pledge by National Geographic that motivate and help people make a difference in their daily life! Let’s work together and help save the oceans and our planet!