This year’s UN World Wildlife Day celebrates “life below water”, making March 3rd a great opportunity to introduce your child to the spectacular world under the sea. Even if you don’t live near the coast, there are plenty of actions you and your family can take to help keep our oceans clean.
1. Reduce Disposable Plastic Intake
Single-use plastic items, such as dipsosable bags and straws, contribute to the massive amount of garbage entering the ocean every year. This garbage poses an extreme risk to marine animals. Cut back on your plastic use by bringing a reusable bag to the store, drinking your beverage without a single-use straw, or bringing your own travel mug to your coffee shop.
2. Cut Back Energy Use
The ocean absorbs much of the excess heat created by burning fossil fuels, which contributes to rising ocean temperatures and changing marine ecosystems. While we know it’s not feasible for everyone to eliminate car travel, there’s plenty of other steps you can take to reduce your carbon footprint. Use energy efficient light bulbs and turn off electronics when you’re not in a room. When possible, use public transportation or ride your bike. And avoid setting your thermostat at extreme temperatures.
3. Make Sustainable Seafood Choices
Eating seafood may be tasty, but it can contribute to serious overfishing of wild populations. There are plenty of web resources that can help you make sustainable seafood decisions – we love this site from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch. There’s even a free app for environmentally-conscious decisions on-the-go.
4. Avoid Harmful Cleaning Products
All drains lead to the ocean, so be mindful of the cleaning products and chemicals you flush away. The US Environmental Protection Agency’s Safe Choice website can help you search for household products that support a healthier environment.
5. Clean Up
If you have the opportunity to visit the beach, pick up litter that you see along way. Not only are you helping marine habitats recover from human impact, but you’re also teaching your child a valuable lesson about eco-responsibility.
Since many of us don’t have easy access to visit these amazing creatures and habitats, we’ve compiled a YouTube playlist that will help bring alive the wonders of the deep blue sea. Click here for a selection of kid-friendly videos from Mother Goose Club and some of our favorite, trusted digital creators, including Sesame Street, The Wiggles and Super Simple Songs.