All you have to do is watch five minutes of the news to know that our planet is changing rapidly. The ice caps are melting, our oceans are filled with plastic waste, and slowly but surely we’re mining away our resources. All of these things have a massive impact on wildlife, marine life, and – though you may not notice it yet – your life.
We love all of our fish, but roughly 2,300 marine species are listed as endangered or threatened, so it might not be too long before some of them are gone for good. This is due to a combination of excessive fishing, climate change, and the recent increase in plastic waste going into our oceans. That being said, by making a few small changes, you can really make a difference.
Try to Save Energy
Taking the time to turn off your lights and other electrical goods when you’re not using them is a great way to be more environmentally friendly. You may be thinking, “But how does that help?” Well, by turning off these electricals you’re reducing the amount of greenhouse gases that are pumped out by power plants as they generate energy.
These greenhouse gases absorb the sun’s warmth and heat the planet’s atmosphere, and in turn subject our planet to…
And at the same time, it has a huge impact on our wildlife:
● Sea turtles lose their nesting beaches ● Polar bears lose their hunting grounds ● Migratory species are forced to move early, upsetting the food chain
Keep an eye out for those standby lights too – switching your electricals off at the wall will ensure that they aren’t wasting any energy.
Plant a Tree
Trees are often referred to as the lungs of the planet. They inhale carbon dioxide and exhale oxygen. Carbon dioxide is another one of those greenhouse gases that cause our planet to heat up, and trees act as nature’s filtration system, making sure there’s a healthy balance of gases in our atmosphere.
With more than 80% of the world’s natural forests now gone, this balance has been disturbed. So grab a spade, head to the bottom of your garden, and get planting! If you don’t have the means to plant a tree yourself then don’t worry, because you can save the planet just by buying some of your favourite products. Companies like Velvet and OVO Energy vow to plant more trees than they use in a bid to create a solution to environmental issues.
Try to Save Water
When we run a tap, all of the water that we don’t use has to go back into the system where it comes from, and from here it’s treated and redirected back to homes around the country. This requires a huge amount of energy, which means power plants have to pump greenhouse gases into the atmosphere as they generate the power needed.
When you save water, you’re not only acting in an environmentally friendly way, but you can also save yourself some money. There are few ways that you can do this:
● Fix your leaks ● Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth ● Turn off the tap while soaping your hands ● Only use the dishwasher/washing machine when you have a full load ● Invest in a rain barrel – water your plants without using the hose
Recycling is one of the most effective ways that you can help the environment. As rubbish goes into landfill sites, it begins to release harmful chemicals and greenhouse gases, which can damage ecosystems and cause global warming. With landfill sites quickly reaching capacity and litter finding its way into our oceans, we are seeing a huge impact on marine life.
Taking the time to sort through your recyclables means these materials will get a second life (in fact, materials like plastics can be reused up to nine times!), and manufacturers won’t have to use valuable natural resources creating their products from new materials. If you’re a creative type, you could even try repurposing your old items yourself – if you need some inspiration: old milk bottles can become plant pots and spoons can be turned into coat hooks.
Attend a Beach Clean
Last year, the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) found that there was a huge rise in rubbish washing up on the UK’s beaches. This proves just how polluted our oceans have become, and with more and more waste appearing in our oceans, we are putting ourselves at risk, as people are believed to be unknowingly eating seafood that is contaminated with toxic chemicals.
Organisations like the MCS and Surfers Against Sewage arrange beach cleans all over the country, so it’s likely that you’ll find one close to you. Alternatively, you can apply to organise a beach clean yourself and bring members of your community together to help the environment.
Little Changes Go a Long Way
We believe that little changes to our day-to-day routines can go a long way when it comes to helping the environment, and keeping our oceans clean means we can keep caring for and learning from our marine friends.