3 Simple Steps To
1. GET INSPIRED
Documentaries have always played a powerful role in generating public awareness and I want to share films that I've found profoundly inspiring and that have ultimately, changed my life. All of these films are currently available on NETFLIX. For more info, click the images icons for direct links to the film websites.
Mission Blue, is going to be my number one recommendation. It is a film that captivated my heart and ultimately inspired my dedication to 'doing my part' for the world I so dearly love. Dr. Sylvia Earl is a true hero of our times and I am confident that this documentary (available on Netflix) will touch your soul. See the trailer below.
2. FIND ALTERNATIVES
So now you're inspired, and further educated on the many challanges facing our world's oceans.
How do you become apart of the solution you may ponder?
GREAT NEWS, it is easier than you think to start making a difference in the world, and there are thousands of resources available at your finger tips.
Here is a tangible list of ways the average individual can make a positive impact through acessible lifestyle changes:
(I found this awesome list through Sea Legacy, be sure to check them out)
1. REDUCE YOUR OWN CARBON FOOTPRINT 👣
This is an easy one! We can all reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by turning off the lights when we leave a room (it actually does make a difference!), using energy efficient appliances, turning down the thermostat, carrying out an energy audit for our homes and businesses, shifting to compact fluorescent light bulbs, taking public transit whenever possible, buying fuel efficient vehicles, vacationing close to home, and flying less.
2. OFFSET YOUR CARBON EMISSIONS 🍃
You can also neutralize all or part of your greenhouse gas emissions by investing in carbon mitigation projects. The idea is to pay an organization that will tangibly and verifiably curb its own GHG emissions to neutralize yours and make you carbon neutral. The process is known as carbon offsetting. The offsetting is achieved through the purchase of carbon credits. Each credit represents one tonne of carbon dioxide.
3. MIND YOUR SEAFOOD 🎣
One of the easiest things you can do to help take pressure off of over exploited fisheries is to learn about which seafood items are “ocean-friendly”. You can download and print a seafood guide from the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
4. NO MORE PLASTIC 🚯
Let’s be the generation that rejects the unnecessary use of plastic. There are so many avoidable uses of plastic and we need to speak out, write to companies, request stores downsize their packaging, and take every opportunity to avoid single-use plastics.
5. SUPPORT MARINE PROTECTED AREAS 🌊
Did you know that barely 5% of our oceans are protected? According to the UN, we need to protect at least 10% by 2020 if we want to maintain our planet’s ecological integrity. Want to see where these Marine Protected Areas exist and where new ones are being proposed? Check out this interactive map by our conservation partner, the Marine Conservation Institute.
6. SHIFT YOUR DIET 🍖
The beef industry is one of the main causes of climate change. Just a simple shift from eating less or no beef, to a more vegetarian or low meat diet can have a huge impact on how rapidly our oceans cope with carbon inputs and warming trends.
7. AVOID PALM OIL 🌴
Palm oil may be the ultimate icon of globalization – an ingredient directly responsible for some of the world’s most pressing environmental problems that has nonetheless permeated our lives so stealthily we barely noticed. Because palm oil is literally in almost everything we buy, it takes a lot more resolve to educate ourselves. You can download a list of what to buy and what to avoid here.
8. SUPPORT A CARBON TAX 🏭
Carbon is present in every hydrocarbon fuel (coal, petroleum, and natural gas) and is released as carbon dioxide (CO2) when they are burned. A carbon tax is usually defined as a tax based on greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) generated from burning fuels. It puts a price on each tonne of GHG emitted, sending a price signal that will, over time, elicit a powerful market response across the entire economy, resulting in reduced emissions.
9. USE YOUR INVESTOR POWER 💰
If you are lucky enough to own shares in companies, you have the option of investing in companies whose climate change policies you approve of and you can also divest (sell) shares of companies whose climate change policies you disapprove of, and most importantly, you can use your voice and vote on company policies as a shareholder.
10. BE MINDFUL OF HAZARDOUS MATERIALS
Motor oil and other hazardous materials often end up washing into coastal areas because they aren't disposed of properly. This pollutes the water and hurts the overall health of our oceans. Be sure to dispose of hazardous materials in an environmentally-safe way.
11. STICK YOUR HEAD BENEATH “THE THIN BLUE LINE” 🐋
From home, you can explore beautiful visual stories by our collective of world-class photographers over on our Maptia channel, The Thin Blue Line. And when you’re out and about, take every opportunity to stick your head under the thin, blue line and spend time in the ocean. You might hear whales singing or see a gathering of bioluminescent creatures. Pay attention, these are our fellow travelers on our journey through space and time.
Ok, so that's a fairly large list, but do not feel overwhelmed!
All you have to do is choose a couple of commitments and see where it takes you.
I am confident you will see the added health benefits of living sustainability, and feel a whole lot better knowing that you're contributing to a sustainable future.
Here are a few links of my 'GO TO' resources, that have aided me in tackling these lifestyle changes:
David Suzuki Foundation
Queen of Green
My Plastic Free Life
City Of Vancouver - Green Living
Wiki How - Eco Lifestyle
Plastic Free Living
Here are a few pdf links for DIY eco friendly recipes:
Reef safe Sunscreen List
Ted Talk - Weekday Veg
Amazing Vegetarian Recipes
Sustainable Restaurants in Vancouver
ORGANIZATIONS TO FOLLOW/MAILING LISTS TO JOIN
The Ocean Clean Up
5 Minute Beach Clean Up
Al Gore's Climate Reality Project
Sum Of US
Georgia Straight Alliance
Care to Action
3. Take Action
Ok, so we have the inspiration, we know what kind of changes/actions are required to live sustainably and we have a great list of resources to work with.
Now it's time for the last and most important step, to TAKE ACTION.
Just START, right here, right now. As simple as that. No more excuses, delays or questioning if it's even going to make a difference (you have my word, it will!).
No one expects you to become an 'eco warrior' overnight, but starting somewhere is KEY, and I promise it gets easier, and easier.
As previously mentioned in step 2, choose a few lifestyle changes, and dedicate yourself to implementing them into daily life. And Voilà, you're on your way to saving the ocean!
And great news, it doesn't have to stop there. For those keen to get really active, there are hundreds of ways you can get involved through participation!
I have to say, I've found it incredibly up lifting to connect with like minded, eco conscious individuals, and it's always inspiring to see others actively trying to do their part. Millions of humans are connected to these issues, and millions of people are finding ways to contribute to a brighter future. Who doesn't want to be one of these humans, or hang out with them?
So get on out there, and make some new friends, join a local Shoreline Cleanup or a Climate Change Rally. Start an event in your community or simply sign petitions in the comfort of your home. Support Indie films that are educating the masses, and attend premiers and film festivals. Shop 'LOCAL' and support small businesses that are ecologically responsible, like waste free shopping or local Farmers’ Markets. There are plenty of ways to adopt a minimal , responsible consuming lifestyle, and I think everyone could benefit from this; if not only for your own health/wellness.
And perhaps most importantly, get outside and connect with nature!
Spend as much time outdoors as possible. Personally, it's where my soul comes alive and all of my worries melt away. I always feel connected, grounded and balanced while immersed in the natural world, and there is no substitution for this; it's experiential, and full sensory bliss.
I truly believe if everyone deeply connected with their environments, they would in turn find value in nature. And as history clearly shows us, what humans value most, is often preserved.