At Seastainable Co, we’re working to support marine conservation in Southeast Asia. The everyday actions of people like you and I can accumulate to make substantial impact to protect our oceans. Here are five ways you can save our ocean!1. Make informed choices about seafood
Refrain from consuming overfished species, or reserve them for special occasions if you must have them.
The Caspian Sea is home to the beluga sturgeon (Huso huso), the fish harvested for its roe otherwise known as caviar. Caspian Sea sturgeon accounts for a staggering 90% of the world's caviar.
The large fish takes about 20 years to reach maturity before females release their eggs. With their coveted eggs harvested so aggressively, the fish struggles to maintain its population.
Amongst the many reasons for caviar's exorbitant price of up to $25,000 per KG - is the age-old law of supply and demand that end consumers like us have control over.
As long as we gradually refrain from unsustainable seafood like caviar, the gap between supply and demand will narrow and thus curb the overfishing of such species.
Click here for a brief guide to consuming sustainable seafood in Singapore.2. Mind your carbon footprint
Carbon acidifies the ocean, destroying corals and other marine life that depend on it. Practise Meatless Mondays, buy second-hand clothing and take public transport when you can. You can also choose to offset your carbon footprint with our Blue Carbon Plans in partnership with CarbonEthics!
Oceans are a natural carbon sink and play a crucial role in keeping the Earth's carbon cycle in balance. Since the start of the Industrial Revolution about 150 years ago, approximately one-third of all carbon dioxide resulting from the burning of fossil fuels has been absorbed by the seas - increasing average oceanic acidity by 30 percent.
With more carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere, oceans absorb more of it and react with seawater to form carbonic acid. This process is known as ocean acidification.
Scientists predict that the Arctic will become corrosive to some shelled organisms within a few decades, and the Antarctic by mid-century.
The formation of carbonic acid decreases the amount of carbonate available for corals, mollusks, echinoderms, calcareous algae and other shelled organisms to build their shells as calcium carbonate is the major mineral building block.
The photo below shows a pteropod's shell dissolving over a 45 day period when placed in sea water conditions projected for year 2100.
Source: National Geographic
You can calculate your carbon footprint here. The calculator measures your carbon footprint and tells you how many trees are needed to offset it.
Some quick ways to decrease your carbon footprint would be to practise Meatless Mondays, purchase second-hand clothing or wear it longer and take public transport.
3. Take care of our beaches
Be part of our very own Best East Coast Cleanup Plan!
Manually picking up trash washed ashore may seem like quite the never-ending task. New waves of trash appears just within minutes.
So why bother?
The short answer: it's better than not doing anything! But more importantly, the trash you might find on those beaches illuminates in a novel way, the scale of marine plastic problems.
As of late, Singapore has been hit with waves of plastic trash at East Coast Park due to the South-west Monsoon season. Marine debris includes discarded items from ships (eg. oil drums) and plastic waste from neighbouring countries.
For example, single-use plastic water cups and aerosol cans were found during one of the beach clean-ups in Singapore initiated by the Best East Coast Clean-up Plan (Click the link to join the Telegram channel!)
It shows us that there is no proper disposal of such items and the best alternative for now would be to switch to other options whenever possible.
4. Avoid Single-Use Plastics and Packaging Whenever Possible
There’s no excuse for single-use! Much of the plastics and disposable items that we have thrown away haven't really gone away.
Photo credit: Greenpeace/Noel Guevarra
You can easily avoid single-use packaging and single-use plastics by:
- Steering away from disposable plastic shavers and investing in longer-term options that only require you to replace the metal blade.
- Switch up to solid bar soaps whenever possible. The ingredients are also usually more simplistic and use less foaming agents (less water usage) without compromising on cleanliness and sensorial experience.
- Making intentional trips to the supermarket to ensure you don't forget your eco-bag, or carry it everywhere with you in case.
- When ordering takeout from home, remember to refuse the cutlery, every bit counts!
- Keeping food containers and cutlery in your office just in case you decide to buy a take-out to avoid the lunch crowd.
Be mindful of the business practises you are supporting. It does not hurt to do a little more research about the brands you are buying from. By doing so, you’d be more aware of the business practises you are supporting.
For example, you could purchase products packaged in recycled plastic or brands that make efforts to use little to no packaging. Brands like Love, Beauty and Planet are committed to eliminating plastic from the oceans and your patronage can make a difference. Vegan brands are also important to take into consideration, as they are free from animal-derived ingredients like shark liver oil (squalene).
Other options like Innisfree source its naturally-derived ingredients entirely from Jeju island and are formulated simplistically without unnecessary chemicals. It takes the load off water treatment plants and prevents unwanted pollution if they ever find their way to waterways without treatment. Innisfree is mindful of its packaging waste, and has recycled up to 9.3 million bottles since 2003 through its Empty Bottle Campaign.
These are just a few examples of brands who are actively giving back to the environment and community. The idea is to go beyond superficial research and be more conscious of the type of business practises you’re supporting.
Click here to research more deeply into what goes into your cosmetic products. All you have to do is copy and paste the list of ingredients and the scanner will do the analysis for you.