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.