While it’s important for people to wear masks where mandated by their local government as a means of slowly the spread of the coronavirus, you may have seen evidence of these masks being disposed of in the natural world around you, whether by accident or on purpose. Many people have taken to social media to show the number of disposable surgical masks that they have picked up, particularly on beaches. And not only is this bad for those spending time on those beaches, but it’s bad for the animals, plant life, and water of the oceans as well.
If images like these have struck a chord with you, here are three things you can do to help keep our oceans clean.
Be Smart With Your Plastic Use
Masks aren’t the only things that litter the water and beaches near our oceans. Sadly, almost any kind of garbage can be found in our oceans. From takeout containers to water bottles, plastic is one of the biggest threats to having a healthy ocean environment.
Because of this, Oceana.org recommends that you be very careful and smart about how you use plastic. Ideally, you should try to use plastic as little as possible. But when you are going to be using plastic, try your best to reuse it or recycle it after you’ve used it for its original purpose. Along with this, you can also try to only use compostable plastic alternatives whenever they’re available.
Commit To A “Leave No Trace” Attitude
Everyone loves spending time at the ocean and enjoying the sun, sand, and the water. But if the beach you’re visiting is littered with garbage, this is going to have a negative impact on your experience as well as on that ocean environment.
To combat this, Jay Serafino, a contributor to MentalFloss.com, advises that you commit to leaving no trace that you were ever in that environment by ensuring that you pack out everything that you packed onto the beach. In fact, you should also take it upon yourself to pick up any other garbage that you see there, even if you weren’t the one who brought it in.
Become An Ocean Advocate
While you yourself can really only do so much when it comes to making an impact on the world’s oceans, by raising your voice and encouraging those around you, you can become an advocate for the proper treatment of our oceans.
To help you in doing this, the World Wildlife Foundation shares that you should tell your friends, your followers, and your leaders how important that oceans are to you individually and to the world as a whole so that people understand how and why to treat them with respect.
If you’re wanting to do your part to help clean up the oceans around the world, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you accomplish this goal.