World Oceans Day is coming up on Tuesday, June 8th and of all of the official and unofficial holidays, this is one incredibly close to my mermaid’s heart.
Every year, even if I’m not at an organized beach clean-up, I head to a local beach, bring along my garbage bags and do my own collection. But here’s the thing, as an avid seaglasser and beach bum, I do that any time I hit the beach anyway. And you should too.
This summer, if you’re going to look for seaglass or catch some sunny vibes at your local beach, don’t forget to pack a garbage bag, reusable bag, or whatever works for you to collect any garbage and ghost gear you find along the way. This not only helps make a tiny dent in the amount of trash on our coastlines, but I promise you’ll feel extra good about it when you go to sleep that night.
Here are a few ideas on how you can celebrate World Oceans Day, not only next week but all year long.
Organize a Beach Clean Up
Perhaps the most common way to celebrate World Oceans Day is to grab some friends and family and do a local beach clean-up together. If you live on the coast, there’s a good chance there might be one organized in your area that you can sign-up for. But if there isn’t, I challenge you to lead the charge and organize your own, even if it’s just with your family or besties.
Remember to bring something to collect trash in; maybe that’s a garbage bag, maybe it’s a mesh reusable bag. Just make sure if you’re using a reusable bag that it’s one you can wash or that you don’t mind getting a little dirty. You never know what you’ll find at the beach.
Next, don’t forget to wear some comfortable shoes and clothing. Yes, you’re going to the beach but you might need to climb over clusters of seaweed, driftwood or debris to get to some of the most tangled pieces of trash. Great footwear is key. I recommend dressing in layers, so you’ve got options if the sun gets too hot or a chill sweeps in off the waves. Oh and don’t forget the sunscreen!
Lastly, you might want to bring a pair of gloves as picking up trash can both be messy and dangerous if you’re picking up anything sharp or rusty. Gardening gloves work GREAT for this or you could use some fishing gloves if you have some.
Discover Local Seafood
Back in April, I had a lot of people messaging me about the Netflix documentary Seaspiracy. I was a wreck after watching it (some scenes are very hard to watch,) but it also left me with a lot of anger and concern. This is a great article to read if you’re unsure how to feel about the documentary because it does a fantastic job at breaking down why it’s problematic and why simply skipping fish or going vegan isn’t the solution.
I love seafood and I love supporting our local fishermen and fishing industries. I have no plans to stop eating seafood after watching Seaspiracy, but here’s what I’m more dedicated to than ever before: knowing where my seafood comes from and how it’s been fished.
Here’s the thing that bothered me most about Seaspiracy. I don’t believe all fishermen are part of the problem. I know of some amazing fishermen here in Atlantic Canada who are doing their part to avoid overfishing, to reduce ghost gear—a huge source of the plastic in our ocean—and to quite literally be willing to die to save an entangled whale in the Bay of Fundy. (Shout out to the Campobello Whale Rescue Team.)
But this documentary certainly reinforced why we’re picky about our seafood and where it comes from.
So this World Oceans Day, I invite you to sample some local seafood. Do a Google search for fish markets in your area and learn more about where they source their products. We are so incredibly lucky to have some of the freshest and most incredible seafood in the world in our local waters. This summer, discover it and fall in love with it.
Oh and give your local fishermen a smile. They work hard to give us amazing fresh seafood.
Take Inventory of Your Single-Use Plastic Habits
World Oceans Day is only one day a year. How can you make an impact 365 days a year to reduce waste, keep plastic out of our oceans, and make a difference? It all starts at home. We’re all familiar with why plastic straws are the devil incarnate (if you haven’t seen the sea turtle straw video, Google it. You’ll never want to use a plastic straw again.)
But what traditional items can you finally swap out for more eco friendly alternatives in your home? Here are a few of my favorite swaps.
Swap Saran Wrap for BeesWax Wraps.
I don’t remember the last time we used saran wrap in our home. We absolutely swear by our beeswax wraps made locally by Bees Louise. These wraps come in all sizes making them perfect for everything from avocados to casseroles.
Swap Paper Napkins for Reusable Napkins
Why do we only reserve fancy cloth napkins for restaurants and weddings? Up your fanciness and cut back on waste at home by swapping your paper napkins for reusable ones.
Switch up Your Beauty Habits
Still, using cotton balls or cotton pads to remove your makeup at the end of the night? Girl, it’s time you meet Lily Pads Reusables. These locally-made here in New Brunswick cloth facial rounds are perfect for removing even the toughest mascara with a little help from your favorite makeup remover product. You can also check out their reusable sanitary pads and unpaper towels.
Celebrating World Oceans Day 365 days a year doesn’t have to be hard and can start with simple changes such as where you purchase your seafood and your single-use plastic waste.
Together, we can make a big splash of a difference 💙