Even though June 8th is the official World Oceans Day , I’d like us all to celebrate this cause not just that one day, but every day, by becoming better versions of ourselves and protecting the environment while we’re at it!
And before you ask, I am not affiliated with any organization, but simply just spreading the word to applause a cause and share my own personal tips with fellow travelers, beach-goers, boat trippers and everyone else who happen to love our oceans as much as I do.
Ever since I was a child, I’ve always felt connected to the sea. Growing up by a beach kind of does that to you. Even if said beach was no tropical one. We had pine trees and cones, not palm trees and coconuts. And that ice cold water and those orange jellyfish that were out to attack everyone, was enough to make most sensible adults stay away from getting into the water. But not kids. Kids are brave. Fearless. Maybe even slightly careless. And me, I used to be just like that (and no, I was never stung by a jellyfish).
Today, I still love going to the beach. Whatever beach. Wherever in the world. But unlike my younger days, I can’t just jump into the water and have that intense feeling of happiness and not give a damn about anything that’s happening around me. This has nothing to do with jellyfish or the water being cold.
This has everything to do with people who disrespect the environment.
Whenever I go to the beach, I turn into a passive-aggressive, grumpy activist. Which is totally not something I wanna be. At all.
But then again…
Where is the joy of going to the beach when the place looks like a dump? Why would I want to go swimming somewhere where I’ll have to dodge plastic bottles and someone else’s trash from their little picnic on the beach? I’ve even experienced used diapers and tampons floating next to me. How disgusting is that? But that’s not the biggest issue here. Because, most importantly, why would I wanna be somewhere where sea turtles, fish or other creatures that reside in the water, get caught on things like six pack-rings or other dangerous plastic items and die from their injuries? No, I don’t want that, nor do I wanna be held responsible for someone else’s lack of behavior.
I can’t remember if the beaches were as littered as they are now, when I was a kid. But what I do remember, is that my parents raised me well and taught me to put trash where it belongs: in the trash cans. They also taught me the beauty of recycling. They taught me how one person’s trash can become…well…another person’s treasure (literally speaking)!
So how can we protect our beaches, our oceans, our underwater creatures?
- Support recycled fashion! Just a quick search in your browser is enough to find hundreds of different brands – big, established ones as well as small, independent ones – that use recycled ocean plastic to create new, trendy items for you to wear.
- Even if it isn’t yours; pick it up! If you see something that could be dangerous for not just animals but also for children to step on or put in their mouths, you should – without a doubt – get rid of it.
- If you see something, say something! You witness someone behaving badly and purposely littering? Speak up. Are they with children? Well, then it’s even more important that you say something. We don’t want the future generation to repeat the mistakes of their parents.
- Visit your local Marine Rescue Center! Because, knowledge is power. The more you learn about the issue – and about the creatures affected by it – the easier it will be for you to know what to do to help. If you don’t have a local Marine Rescue Center, visit your local Aquarium for advice!
- Spread the word! Talk to the people in your community. What can you do to keep the beaches clean?
Fellow travelers, fellow humans, next time you go to the beach – be the best version of yourself. Let us all be everyday hero’s and clean up the mess we’ve made!