Community & Collaborations - Celebrating Our Oceans
8 June 2019 - Posted by The Sisterhood of Sustainability
From the depths of the ocean to the waves crashing onto the beach, there are so many intricate and important eco-systems that make up our big blue seas. While it’s important that we recognise and respect our oceans every day of the year, World Oceans Day is the perfect time to reflect on how we can do more to protect our marine life, regenerate our coral reefs and prevent further pollution. In the Sophia. way, we have decided to use art as a way of portraying our message of sustainability and ethicality and have created a set of five ocean inspired gift cards in celebration of World Oceans Day.
100% of the profits are going directly towards ocean conservation with 50% going towards Balu Blue Foundation which is an Australian based ocean charity with a purpose of education, research and conservation, for protection and enhancement of the natural environment. The remaining 50% will be going towards our rubbish cleaning events to remove plastic and pollution from our waterways and bushland.
NOT-SO-FUN FACTS ABOUT OUR OCEANS
- Over 100,000 marine animals and sea birds die each year as a result of plastic pollution -
- It is estimated that by 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish -
- One piece of clothing can leech 700,000 microfibres into the ocean with every wash -
- The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a giant patch of floating plastic trash made up of more than 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic and weighing more than 80,000 tonnes -
- Approximately 12 billion gallons of waste water is discharged into oceans and estuaries every day -
- It is believed that there are over 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris in the ocean -
- Worldwide, 13,000 to 15,000 pieces of plastic are dumped into the ocean every single day -
- At least two thirds of the worlds fish stocks are suffering from plastic ingestion -
- Scientists have identified 200 areas declared as ‘dead zones’ where no live organisms can grow -
Now that you’re more aware of what our oceans suffer from, it’s time to share what YOU can do to truly make a difference. Here are a few ideas:
ZERO WASTE SHOPPING
You’ve probably heard it before but we’re going to say it again – you vote with your money! Your purchasing decisions directly affect the world around you, especially our fragile ocean environment. From this moment forward, strive for a zero waste shopping approach when you’re at the grocery store. Skip the plastic bags and take your own reusable bags, opt for fresh fruit and veggies that aren’t wrapped in plastic and use your own produce bags. Choose materials that are packaged in environmentally friendly materials and avoid items that are wrapped in plastic whenever possible. Glass jars are also a great option for storing ingredients such a dried fruit, nuts, flours, rice and pasta.
SUSTAINABLE LIFESTYLE CHOICES
There are small changes in your life that can make a huge impact and the best part is that they’re going to save you money and the environment in the long run. Invest in a few key items that you can use over and over again without contributing to landfill and pollution. Our favourite essentials are: REUSABLE METAL STRAWS These are a definite must have as plastic straws are one of the biggest ocean polluters and are so easy to replace! They’re easy to stash in your bag, can be effectively cleaned with a straw cleaner KEEP CUPS You won’t regret buying a reusable coffee/tea cup because there are not only so many stylish and beautiful designs out there but you’ll also help in saving 1 billion disposable coffee cups from entering landfill each year. You’ll also be able to keep your drinks warmer for a lot longer and most cafes and restaurants offer a discount for providing your own cup.
REUSABLE BAGS There are no excuses for using plastic bags anymore because we all know how detrimental they are to the environment and they are super simple to replace with fabric bags. Gather a whole collection or make your own out of second hand sheets and then stash them in handy places for whenever you might need them such as the front door, the boot of your car and your desk at work BAMBOO CUTLERY It’s no secret that plastic cutlery is a huge threat to our environment, not to mention that we only use each pieces for an average of 5 minutes before it gets tossed into landfill. It is such an unnecessary addition to our waste problem and can be easily avoided if we all carried a small, lightweight and reusable cutlery set with us where ever we go.
The environmental based organisation called Take 3 for the Sea have started an initiative of picking up three pieces of plastic or other debris every time you visit the beach. It’s a simple idea that keeps excess trash out of our oceans as well as giving back to a little piece of the environment that we all enjoy so much. Nobody wants to visit a beach full of litter so by doing your part and removing a few pieces before you leave, you’re helping to save our marine life and keep our coasts clear. Why stop at three pieces though? Why not spending ten minutes or so combing through the sand and removing every piece of rubbish you see – after all ten minutes is only a minute percentage of your day.
OCEAN FRIENDLY WASHING METHODS
Can you believe that every time you wash a load of clothes, you’re releasing an approximate 700,000 microscopic plastic fibres into the ocean. This is such a phenomenal and detrimental impact for something that 7 billion people do on a regular on average, once a week. That’s over 254 trillion microfibers being washed into our waterways every year and while microfibers are small, that doesn’t mean that they’re any less deadly. Marine life can easily ingest these pieces, coral reefs are clogged by them and it’s no surprise that our oceans are already suffering from micro plastics. This is where are clothing and washing choices come in. Pieces of clothing made from natural fibres are always the safest bet and washing clothes with a laundry ball or bag that keeps microfibers from entering our waterways are the next best option.
EARTH FRIENDLY PRODUCTS
Think about all the chemicals that get washed down our drains in the form of soaps, shampoo, conditioner, dishwashing liquid and laundry detergent. We have the ability to make a conscious decision to swap our harmful products to 100% natural items and there are more and more earth friendly brands that are bringing extremely affordable products onto the market. In fact, it’s now possible to pay less for natural and organic products than it is to buy ones that are harmful to the environment and your body.
ABOUT OUR WORLD OCEANS DAY PROJECT
We’ve teamed up with Brinkley Davies and Balu Blue Foundation for World Oceans Day 2019 to raise important funds for conservation work and hope that with our communities help we can make a real and incredible difference to our ocean eco-system and marine life. Balu Blue are a not-for-profit organisation with a purpose of education, research and conservation, for protection and enhancement of the natural environment. Their mission is to create awareness and inspire protection of the natural environment and its wildlife, through experience and education, while also contributing to existing projects with parallel purposes. Their mission involves scope of primary research on wildlife species, rescue of native wildlife and reforestation of destroyed habitats. They aim to share educational material to assist in the preservation of these crucial habitats and to inspire sustainable and ethical living that minimises harm to the oceans, animals and our planet as a whole.