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On World Oceans Day what can we do? – A blog by Natalie McGovern

Sea-Changers is a volunteer run organisation and on World Oceans Day we want to say thank you to all of our fantastic, hardworking volunteers. We couldn't do what we do with out you! One of our volunteers is Natalie McGovern who looks after our social media. She has written this World Oceans Day Blog. It has lots of great ideas for action we can all take to tackle some of the big issues the oceans face today. Natalie, you are a #SeaChanger.

All life depends on the ocean. Along with providing food, habitat, energy and water for all species, the ocean regulates our global climate, so the health of the ocean influences every aspect of society. Every other breath that you take, the oxygen you breathe is produced by plants in the ocean. Every day without you knowing it, the ocean is working for you.

The ocean takes up over 70% of the Earth’s surface, and holds about 321 million cubic miles of water, which is roughly 97 percent of the Earth's water supply. At its deepest point, located in the Mariana Trench, it is over 36,000 feet below sea level.

World Oceans Day provides us with an opportunity to recognise and celebrate the vital role the oceans play in sustaining the planet, and provides a platform on which we can discuss how we can best support the ocean, and the life within it. This year’s action focus centres on the global campaign to get governments worldwide to agree to protect at least 30% of our land and ocean by 2030 (30x30), to prevent a mass extinction crisis, support a growing global population, and address climate change. You can read more about the campaign, and sign the petition here.

The issues we face are huge and can feel bigger than any one person, however harmful practices are enabled by demand and profit. There are simple lifestyle changes that we all can make, that will collectively make a difference. Here are four easy ones to get you started:

#1 Support Sea-Changers – Check out our ‘’Get Involved’ page for ideas about how you can help our work. One instant thing you can do is to book into our virtual 10th anniversary festival which is taking place later his month. The Sea-Changers festival of virtual events aims to spotlight some of the incredible projects we have funded; promote what we do as a charity; and raise more funds to distribute. From species conservation and citizen science projects to beach cleans and public awareness campaigns, it's time to celebrate all that we have achieved together in the last 10 years.

Involving Communities in Species Conservation - Hosted the Marine Biological Association 23rd June, 3pm to 4.30pm

Cornwall: A Critical Mass of Community Marine Action - In partnership with the University of Exeter - 30th June, 10am to 11.30am

All events are free and the details are all here.

#2 Eat more veggies, eat less meat - Consumption of animal products has a huge environmental impact, involving massive amounts of water use, pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and habitat destruction. Start with small changes such as going veggie/vegan one day a week, or swapping out your dairy products for plant-based alternatives and go from there. If you're eating out, restaurants are now providing better vegan and vegetarian options.

#3 Ditch fast fashion - The fashion industry, especially the fast fashion industry is one of the most damaging for the environment. Fast fashion’s negative impact includes the use of cheap, toxic textiles and dyes, and a huge amount of textile waste, not to mention the carbon footprint of next day delivery options which are often promoted as part of a deal. Wherever possible try to shop second hand; as well as vintage and charity shops, eBay, Depop and Vinted make it easy to shop second hand online. If there is a need to buy new, try and support sustainable companies with environmentally friendly practises. There are a number of online guides to direct you to ethical companies such The Re:Directory and Compare Ethics. If you need a new Tee shirt or hoodie then there is only one place to Sea-Changers by visiting our Teemill Store and purchasing one of our lovely limited edition Tee Shirts.

#4 Cut down on plastic - Many businesses offer a discount if you use your own reusable coffee cup, when you go shopping pay attention to the amount of packaging used to wrap the food you purchase, and try to buy products in glass jars/bottles or aluminium instead of plastic. If you can, use fabric facemasks instead of the plastic ones wherever possible (if you have to use plastic masks, cut the loops on either side of the mask so that animals are less likely to get entangled when they end up in the ocean).

The 8th June is just one day, it's important to remain engaged throughout the year. A healthy planet is not just an option, it's a necessity, our lives depend on it, and what we do over the next decade to address the climate crisis will have a huge impact on the fate of humanity. The only uncertainty is whether it will be a positive impact, or negative one.


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