Every year on June 8th, we celebrate World Oceans Day to remind ourselves of the human impact on the ocean.
In 2008, the United Nations officially recognized World Oceans Day, although the idea was proposed as early as 1992 at the Earth Summit – UN Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The purpose of this day is to educate citizens about the threats our oceans face due to human activity and how we can help protect the ocean.
The main threats facing our oceans today are oil spills, garbage and sewage disposal. Both are catastrophic and cause irreversible damage to our environment, not to mention the damage they do to the marine ecosystem.
We need the ocean for our survival. Tiny, plant-like marine organisms called phytoplankton produce 50% of the Earth’s oxygen through photosynthesis. It’s safe to say that the air we breathe, most of it comes from the ocean. The oceans are important, to put it mildly.
Like every year, we have a theme for World Oceans Day –
Rebirth: Collective Action for the Ocean. With 71% of the earth covered in water, one might think of how to kill the ocean at all, it’s not a river that we can easily kill. Oh, but we can. What you throw in the trash today will end up in the ocean sooner or later. It doesn’t matter where you are.
One of the most difficult problems, how the oceans have become a dumping ground for plastic waste, worries governments of all countries. Millions of tons of plastic can be found in the ocean and end up in the marine food chain that we then consume. Did it make you think that what we throw away never goes away?
As travelers, we go out of our doors and can get to almost any place on this earth. A straw, a mask, or a plastic bag that you threw away while on vacation in Bali or Machu Picchu might be floating around in the Atlantic Ocean, and an unsuspecting sea turtle tries to eat it, thinking it’s food. This plastic straw can get stuck in the gills of a fish somewhere in the Pacific Ocean.
It will come back to us eventually, one way or another.
The world needs responsible tourism now more than ever. As travelers, we can do our part to protect the ocean and the environment.
Recycle – what we can, Discard – plastic, Reuse – what we have.
Eco-friendly travel is possible if we are mindful of what we use in our travels. For example, instead of buying bottled water every time, we can just carry refillable bottles with us and refill water as needed. We can also ditch plastic straws and use our own reusable straws. Most eateries these days offer “sustainable” straws and utensils. But most of them are always plastic-lined, right?
Instead of disposable carrying bags, you can use a large bag to carry your shopping during…