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Take action this World Oceans Day

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Wild About Whales
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Two whales breaching

You may already know that over 70% of the Earth’s surface is covered by oceans, but did you also know that 70% is also how much of the Earth’s oxygen is produced by marine plants?

The ocean and its inhabitants are vital for our survival and so this World Oceans Day let’s take a moment to consider five simple ways we can help reduce our impact on the Big Blue.

1. Reduce single use plastic

Single use plastic has only been around for about 100 years but already it is having a dramatic impact on our oceans. While the larger supermarkets are cutting their use of plastic bags, there are still many ways to reduce single use plastic in your day to day life. Say no to a straw when ordering your next drink at the pub, bring your own mug or Keep Cup to the local café, invest in a reusable water bottle and be mindful of takeaway containers and plastic cutlery.

2. Choose eco-friendly cleaning products

What goes down our drains ends up in the oceans, so it is important to choose detergents that are biodegradable and grey water friendly. This includes everything from shampoos and conditioners, to dishwashing liquid and washing powders. The good news is that there are a number of eco-friendly brands available at accessible prices. If you want to take it a step further, there are also guides available online for minimising the number of products you use, as well as how to make your own cleaning products.

3. Be respectful when enjoying the ocean

Escaping to one of the many beautiful vantage points or coastal destinations NSW has to offer is always a wonderful experience. To make the most of your whale watching day on the coast without detrimentally impacting marine life, remember to take all rubbish with you including fishing lines and reduce your impact in national parks. Also remember to be mindful when approaching wildlife. Animal selfies may seem fun but they are distressing for wildlife, not to mention potentially dangerous. Keep your eyes peeled for migrating whales, but remember the approach zones that are in place for your safety as well as the whales’.

Blog: Leave no trace

Image credit: Melissa Findley/OEH

4. Be thoughtful when choosing seafood

There’s no denying Australia has some of the most delicious seafood in the world. To ensure there are plenty of fish in the sea for years to come, choose sustainable seafood sources and be mindful of the impacts what you eat can have on the environment. There are resources available to help you make a considered choice when eating seafood.

5. Consider natural sunscreens

Australia has the highest occurrence of melanoma in the world, so sun protection is absolutely crucial when enjoying our beaches. However, there is some evidence that the chemicals in some sunscreens is causing harm to already fragile coral reefs. To reduce this possible impact, you could consider using biodegradable and natural zinc sunscreens, as well as covering up with lightweight clothing.

Find out other ways you can take action to protect whales and the oceans they call home.

Header image credit: Jodie Lowe/OEH

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