It’s World Ocean Day on 8th June. An important day for any eco-conscious person or business.
Powered by the World Ocean Day Youth Advisory Council, this special day is a collaboration of conservation groups and organisations in over 140 countries who come together to celebrate and actively protect our oceans.
Why is it so important to protect our oceans? They provide 50% of the oxygen we breathe and help feed billions of people every day. These beautiful blue carpets across our planet cover 70% of the globe and are home to millions of species.
However, currently, 90% of our big fish populations are depleted and 50% of coral reefs have been destroyed. We are also creating more and more plastic waste which ultimately finds its way into our waterways and oceans, impacting the whole ecosystem.
We are taking more than can be replenished. We must drastically change the direction we are going to preserve our oceans and our way of life.
As part of our mission to rid the world of plastic waste, we wanted to help raise awareness of World Ocean Day and outline what you can do to help.
30 x 30
Leading scientists worldwide have determined that a healthy ocean is a critical part of the solution to the climate change and biodiversity crisis.
As such, the theme for this year’s World Ocean Day is Revitalization: collective action for the oceans focusing on the 30 x 30 initiative.
The 30 x 30 Global Ocean Alliance initiative aims to protect at least 30% of the global ocean and Marine Protected Areas by 2030. These areas will have strict international rules to prevent the continued decimation of habitats and wildlife. So far 72 countries across the world have signed up. All of them committing to playing a role in upstanding and developing the global biodiversity targets. The 30 number plays a significant role since oceanographers and scientists indicate that effective protection of at least 30% of the global oceans will help to:
- Reverse adverse ecological impacts
- Preserve fish populations
- Increase resilience to climate change
- Sustain long-term ocean health
Ocean Plastic Waste
A massive issue facing our oceans is plastic pollution. Have you ever heard of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch? Along with the larger amounts of waste contributing to this rubbish patch, there are smaller amounts of plastic waste impacting our oceans. Almost naked to the eye, microplastics form a big part of ocean waste and have even been found in the fish we eat. We can ingest these microplastics in both what we eat and drink, and in the air we breathe.
For the first time, microplastics were found in human blood following research earlier this year.
If that doesn’t startle you, then maybe Sir David Attenborough’s words will resonate. “We dump 8 million tonnes of plastic in the sea every year”.
Our plastic problem has gotten out of control. It is time we changed our ways.
Time to rethink plastic
There are many easy ways you can reduce your plastic waste, both at home and at work. You might think going green means more expense. It doesn’t have to be this way. In fact, it can sometimes be more cost-effective. Why not try some of the following:
- First, do a plastic waste audit. Look at your waste and recycling and see how much plastic waste you throw away. Notice what you create most of and think about how you can reduce this
- Use reusable travel cups or bottles instead of takeaway coffee cups and plastic bottles
- Buy refillable products for anything from shampoo and shower gel to washing detergent and fabric softener
- Buy loose fruit and vegetables or use your own cloth bags to contain them
- Do a bathroom and toiletry audit – what are you using that is plastic or uses plastic containers. Switch to eco-friendly deodorant, razors, toilet rolls, sanitary products and so on
- Rethink your gifting – make a conscious choice to swap from gifts which contain plastic, are excessively packaged or are not environmentally friendly. Even better, opt for a gift card, ideally a green gift card made from paperboard, not plastic! Gift cards give the recipient freedom to choose their own gift, plus you can gift experiences. So much better for making memories and there is no plastic waste as a knock-on effect
- Shop seasonal and local – this usually involves less plastic packaging, plus the food miles travelled and associated carbon footprint are much lower
- learn to say no! You have the power with this small word to make a difference to our oceans. If someone offers you a straw for your drink, plastic cutlery, a plastic cup, or even chewing gum – just say no! Unless they are plastic-free then you can kindly refuse the offer.
At Green Gift Card we have made a conscious effort to make every process of our gift cards ecological. Our solution to plastic waste especially in the gift card industry? Remove the plastic! Our environmentally friendly gift cards are made from responsibly sourced paperboard that is 100% recyclable and biodegradable.
For more information about our products or how we are changing the gift card industry, visit our website or check out our social media.