While American banking heir and philanthropist David Rockefeller endorses, funds and participates in actions to raise awareness of the dangers facing our oceans, his wife Susan Rockefeller has been directing a film called Mission of Mermaids, dedicated to love and preservation of the ocean. As preserving and rescuing our oceans is a subject dear to most cruising sailor's hearts, we here offer Susan's suggested resolutions for helping our oceans in 2013:
Overfishing, destruction of species - This is just one of the issues - sealion caught in net.
'It may seem a daunting ask,' she says, 'but there ARE many things that you can do to change the course of what is happening with our seas. Here are a few resolutions that you could adopt to do your part in preserving the oceans for future generations.'
1. Use environmentally friendly products:
Pollution in the ocean
Many people don’t realize the impact of the products we buy in relation to the ocean. From garden care to personal products anything that ends up in the sewage system will impact the ocean. Try to buy natural products that can reduce the chemicals that will go into the seas.
2. Use your money for good:
Consumer influence is a powerful tool and each person can impact the ocean in the products that they buy. In choosing natural, sustainably produced products we can send a powerful message to companies that the environment matters and that we care.
3. Buy local, eat sustainable foods:
. Reducing your impact on the ocean means making sustainable food choices. Buying fish for example that are not overfished or supporting local farmers can impact marine life and reduce your carbon footprint. These small steps can make a big difference in the long run.
4. Organize events to clean our beaches (and streets):
Beach and street litter account for 60-80 percent of the litter found in our oceans. Litter in the streets eventually can end up in the sewage system and the ocean. Be conscious of litter and participate in or organize events to keep our streets and ocean fronts clean.
5. Use less plastic and non-sustainable materials:
Plastic accounts for the deaths of countless marine animals each year. From bottles, netting and the notorious plastic bags we can minimize our use of these day to day items by using a cloth bag or purchasing items that aren’t in plastic containers. Each bag or bottle you don’t use is a potential life saved.
6. Reduce your carbon footprint:
Every step that you take to reduce your footprint will help protect our oceans. Whether it is biking or carpooling to work a couple days a week or taking the subway or train during peak traffic hours to avoid idling, any step to minimize emissions will make a difference over time.
7. Educate yourself on the ocean and the issues:
Reef Destruction. A boats anchor caught up on a tropical coral reef. Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia - photo by oceanwideimages.com
Many people would like to help save the ocean but aren’t sure what to do. There are many educational films about the ocean such as Mission of Mermaids and organizations that you can support. Try checking out and volunteering for Oceana, Clean Ocean Action and National Geographic. In educating yourself and your family about what the issues are you can be better prepared to do your part in saving the seas.
8. Let your vote count:
Make sure to note which politicians are actively making an effort to protect the oceans. Read up on how your elected officials are voting and contact your local representatives to urge them to be more vocal about issues that impact the ocean. Your elected officials are representing your interests.
9. Be mindful of your waste:
According to Use Less Stuff, each year at least 28 billion pounds of edible food are wasted and half of the paper that is used in the USA is used to wrap gifts or as decoration. It is important to be mindful of your consumption and waste not only during the holidays, but all year round. By creating less waste you can reduce your carbon footprint.
10. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, resolve not to give up:
While saving the ocean seems a grandiose task it really begins with the smallest actions. Picking up litter, using a cloth bag, using natural products, everything helps. Don’t feel overwhelmed and like you must commit your entire life to this cause. Rather, gradually incorporate the steps that feel most comfortable to you while continually increasing in commitment and scale. You will find that the more steps you take the more naturally inclined your progression will become.