Putting the brakes on climate change and helping the ocean

By Rachel Berman

The most amazing natural resource: nature’s beauty. Credit: Eric Vance

Do you feel helpless as one person, but want to do something to help the ocean? Actually, there is plenty that you can do to help out. There are small steps that you can make a part of your daily routine that can make a difference.
Humans produce a lot of waste on a day-to-day basis, and some of this will end up in the ocean. One of the largest contributors of harmful marine debris is plastic grocery store bags, and a simple solution is to bring reusable bags to the grocery store. The good news is that in most places, this will also save you money at the checkout counter.
Climate change is driven by the accumulation of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere, leading to the retention and trapping of heat. The main gasses that cause this issue are carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide. According to the EPA, human activities release 30 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere yearly. Transportation alone adds up as the second largest source of carbon dioxide emissions. Taking public transportation, carpooling or riding a bike are small steps that are not only healthy for you, but can significantly reduce harmful emissions.
Lastly, eat your fish and love it too! The term “sustainable source” refers to catching and farming fish in a way that will have lower impacts on the environment. On your next trip to the grocery store, buy fish with sustainable seafood from the U.S., with eco-labels like the Marine Stewardship Council, or on a Seafood Watch green list; you’ll be supporting sustainable fishing processes and supporting the seafood economy.

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