Little Plastics... No one wants a Trashy Ocean

  • Posted on
  • By Nikole Heath
Little Plastics... No one wants a Trashy Ocean

As scuba divers, we are the first to see changes in our oceans and we should be the first to make sure we protect this blue wonder so that we can continue to dive in it.

As scuba divers, we are the first to see changes in our oceans and we should be the first to make sure we protect this blue wonder so that we can continue to dive in it.

Where to start? We have seen the images on social media of the Great Garbage Patch in the Pacific Ocean and it’s hard to think we can make a difference… BUT YOU CAN!

Here are a few everyday items that if we are conscious about our usage of, or if we do not use at all, we could help decrease marine debris.

 

How to photograph goliath groupers

  1. Plastic One-Use Water Bottles…did you know it takes 450 years to biodegrade these bottles? They are the most common of the plastics found floating, not just our oceans, but in rivers and lakes, too. Yes, it is hard to avoid these at work, parties or events, but do try to not use them in your home. Curb your need to stock up on cases of individual plastic water bottles and try purchasing jugs, especially ones that can be refilled, and use cups or glasses to drink from. When away from your home, try to bring a re-usable water bottle with you…and if you are a scuba diver, check out the ones we have for sale at Force-E that look a scuba tank!
  2. Plastic Straws…they suck, literally! Have you seen the Facebook video of the sea turtle having a straw removed from its nose…so sad. There is a huge campaign that celebrities are getting behind to refuse to use plastic straws. If you must use a straw, take a re-usable one with you or, better yet, choose to use a paper straw! When ordering a drink from a waiter, remember to ask them to hold the straw!
  3. Microbead Products…These include hand soaps, body washes, and face washes that have tiny beads in them to exfoliate your skin. These microbeads end up in our oceans. Fish and sea birds then ingest them and they can get really sick. Choose to use soaps without these beads and hand towels to get rid of that flaky skin. Even better, try to use environmentally friendly soaps like Method, Ecos, and Mrs. Meyers, which can all be purchased at your local store.
  4. Plastic Grocery Bags…These literally look like jellyfish to a sea turtle. Until Florida gets in on the ban, it is up to us to be aware of other, better options while shopping. Using cloth or recycled plastic re-usable bags is a much better choice, so make sure you have them in your car so you don’t forget them at home. If you have to use a plastic bag, then make sure you dispose of them correctly…cut the handles and loops so they can’t tangle on marine life, and if you shop at Publix or Whole Foods, use the recycling bin for these bags.
  5. Balloons…these are the devil in the ocean! Especially when they are released into the air because they eventually come down and look like food to marine and land animals; or worse, the string can entangle marine and wildlife. Next time you think about getting Birthday or get well balloons, think of a more fun alternative like blowing bubbles, painting rocks, or origami. There are so many better options…just Google “alternative to using a balloon” and see what you find!

 

These are just a few things to be aware of to help you to try to reduce your use of little plastics. Hopefully, we can choose to do these things and ask others to participate, so it will help out our oceans in the long run.  We can make a difference!