Guest blog post by Hayley Garner
A stand-out date in the calendar, World Ocean Day is a crucial celebration to come together and fight for our planet and its marine life. The theme for this year is ‘Life and Livelihoods’ and depicts how every organism on earth relies on the ocean for its survival. For us as humans, this couldn’t be more true. The ocean supplies at least 50% of the Earth’s oxygen, covers over 70% of the planet and absorbs a considerable amount of carbon dioxide produced by humans. My name is Hayley and I run the blog and vlog Wild Ever Since. I’m an adventure travel content creator and ocean activist. I focus on responsible adventure travel and work with marine conservation organisations.
One big issue facing our oceans is plastic pollution. Every single year, between 8 and 13 million tonnes of plastic enters our ocean, polluting the water, killing marine life and causing extreme damage. Now, it’s easy to feel powerless when you look at these statistics; after all, with such a vast ocean and large multinational companies contributing to the destruction, it seems impossible that one person can make a difference. But you can. There are many ways you can have a positive impact on the ocean, but I am going to mention two easy ones in this post. The first is reusing items to save on your plastic usage and the second is by using your voice.
Firstly, there are a number of items you can choose to reuse instead of repurchasing. For example, a carrier bag, water bottle and coffee cup are easy ways to get started. Water-to-Go provides an excellent solution for a reusable water bottle. You can take your bottle on any active adventures and fill it up from any fresh water source (not the ocean hehe). I love to take mine on hikes around the UK and plan to take it on my travels to far-flung destinations as soon as the world gets back to a degree of normality and it is safe to do so.
The second way you can have a positive impact on World Ocean Day is by using your voice. As Greta Thunberg famously said: “You are never too small to make a difference” and that couldn’t be more true. Let’s say, you hypothetically used to use a plastic water bottle every day and you stop and replace it with a reusable water bottle. Now, let’s say you influence one friend to also swap to a reusable water bottle who uses a plastic one every day. You could effectively save 730 plastic water bottles a year from entering the ocean. That is incredible. Now, obviously, this is just an example, but your impact can be huge. By getting inspired by the ocean and its diverse and incredible marine life and spreading the message, you can have a real impact.
So this World Ocean Day, why not challenge yourself to take a few small steps, make some sustainable swaps and use your voice to come together and help save our planet. Happy World Ocean Day!
To see more sustainable swaps and responsible travel tips, check out Hayley’s latest video blog
To find out more about Hayley and her blog, check out her website, Youtube and Instagram channels.