Celebrate World Oceans Day on June 8
How to Celebrate World Oceans Day
World Oceans Day is held on June 8 every year, as a day to reflect on the benefits provided by the oceans and what we can do to keep them clean and healthy. Started by the United Nations, World Oceans Day is celebrated by people across the globe with events big and small—in New York City, the Empire State Building is even lit up in blue to celebrate! Getting involved in this important holiday is a great way to show your appreciation for the ocean and your commitment to helping future generations enjoy it, too.
The best way to celebrate World Oceans Day is to participate in a beach cleanup or attend a World Oceans Day event. To learn more about the major environmental issues facing the ocean, do some research by going online or watching an ocean-inspired documentary. You can also make an impact by donating to ocean conservation organizations. Finally, help save the oceans by avoiding plastic for the day and trying to eat fish- and meat-free meals.For more ways to show your appreciation on World Oceans Day, including how to register your own World Oceans Day event, read on!
Planning a Party or Event
Attend an official World Oceans Day event near you.Log on to the World Oceans Day website to view a map of World Oceans Day events taking place around the world and find one close to you. Some events are even hosted online, so you can take part from anywhere in the world.
- You’ll be able to see descriptions of each event, including recommended age ranges and the theme and focus of each activity.
- You can view a map of events here:
Organize your own World Oceans Day event if there are none near you.If you’re passionate about making an impact on World Oceans Day, set up your own event. The World Oceans Day website offers suggestions for possible events, and you can register the event online to attract other participants. Try an activity like:
- A beach cleanup
- A pledge to reduce plastic use or energy consumption at your school or workplace
- A walk or march to raise awareness for an ocean-related issue or funds for an organization
- An online photography or art competition on social media
Clean up trash at your local beach, river, or park.Cleaning up at your local beach can be as simple as grabbing a reusable bag and some gloves and heading to the nearest beach. Grab pieces of trash like bottles, plastic, and other waste, and throw them in a trash can when you’re done.
- You can also set up an organized beach clean-up through your local parks service. Go to their website for more information.
- If you don’t live near a beach, clean up a local lake or river. You can even pick up trash at a nearby park; trash that starts there can easily end up in a body of water.
Teach kids how to protect the ocean with WOD lesson plans.You can download interactive lesson plans for kids of all ages from the World Oceans Day website. Their resources focus on teaching kids more about ocean life and how to protect it by preventing pollution.
- You can use the resources to plan a lesson for your kids or students to help them get the most out of this holiday.
- You can also plan your own lesson or look up other materials online.
Visit a local aquarium or marine park.Heading to an aquarium or a marine park is a great, hands-on way to learn more about the ocean and the creatures that live there. You’ll be able to see these animals up-close and learn more about how you can protect them in the wild.
- Marine parks are designated protected areas of water or coastline, similar to a national park. They are typically open to the public for tours, swimming, and hikes.
- Your aquarium might even be holding a special event for World Oceans Day. Check beforehand to see if there’s anything you’ll be able to participate in.
Watch a show or movie to learn more about the ocean.Films, TV shows, and documentaries can immerse you in the fascinating life under the sea and inform you about important environmental issues and ocean conservation efforts. Look for films that focus on an area you’re interested in, like deep sea exploration or the fight against pollution or extinction.
- Invite a few friends over to watch with you for a lowkey celebration.
- You can stream many ocean films online for free or on paid platforms like Netflix, or order copies online.
- Some films and shows to consider includePlanet Earth: Ocean Deep,The Blue Planet,Mission Blue, andA Plastic Ocean.
Prepare a seafood-inspired meal without the fish.Eating fish, even when it’s farmed or from a sustainable fishery, can put a lot of strain on marine ecosystems. Give the ocean a break today by incorporating seafood-inspired recipes into your meal while skipping out on the fish itself. You’ll be able to enjoy the flavor of the sea while knowing that you’re helping to protect it!
- You can make your favorite seafood dishes without the fish by replacing it with foods that emulate its texture. You can replace fish or crab cakes with tempeh, and use tofu instead of scallops or shrimp.
- Use seafood-inspired flavorings like Old Bay seasoning, seaweed, and lemon and serve your dish with classic condiments like tartar sauce.
- Try skipping out on meat as well. It’s considered a major factor in climate change, which is threatening many forms of marine life.
Protecting Ocean Ecosystems
Work on reducing your energy consumption.Burning fossil fuels releases carbon dioxide, which makes the ocean more acidic and less hospitable to life. Cutting down on your energy consumption isn’t something you can accomplish in just one day, but you can use World Oceans Day as the time to start. Some energy-saving ideas include:
- Riding a bike, walking, or using public transportation to get around
- Turning off appliances when you’re not using them
- Turning up your thermostat a few degrees in the summer, and turning it down in the winter
Apply less fertilizer in your yard to reduce runoff.Excess fertilizer will wash out of your yard with rain and irrigation, eventually ending up in the ocean. This runoff can create “dead zones” with very little oxygen that can no longer support life. To reduce this, use fertilizer as sparingly as possible.
- Do some research to see how much fertilizer your plants really need. Remember that more fertilizer doesn’t usually result in better growth.
Avoid plastic as much as you can.Plastic pollution in the ocean is a serious and deadly problem. Thousands of marine mammals die every year after eating or getting tangled in it, and its toxins can even enter our own food chain when fish ingest it. Do your part by tracking the plastic you use every day and cutting it down a bit at a time.
- Swap a plastic water bottle for a reusable one. If you go grocery shopping, use a reusable bag.
- In particular, try to avoid single-use plastics, like plastic cups, utensils, plates, and straws.
Avoid products with plastic microbeads.Often used as an exfoliant in face scrubs or soaps, plastic microbeads wash down your drain and are often too small to be filtered out by sewage systems. They’ll end up in the ocean, creating a major risk for marine environments and even human health. Take a close look at any personal care or beauty products you have to make sure that you aren’t using any of these microbeads.
- Terms like “exfoliator,” “buff,” “scrub,” or “polish” can often indicate the use of plastic microbeads.
- Some countries, including the U.S. and the U.K., have started banning microbeads. However, some bans are limited or not yet enforced. Keep an eye out for microbeads just in case.
Use organic, non-synthetic fabrics as much as you can.Clothing made out of synthetic substances, like polyester or acrylic, often contain microplastics that can be washed out in the washing machine. These small plastic fibers are then released into the environment and can pose a risk to ocean life. Try to replace these synthetic fabrics with natural ones, such as organic cotton or wool.
- One study shows that just one washing machine cycle can release over 700,000 microplastic fibers.
Make sure to recycle correctly.Recycling can drastically cut down on the amount of plastic that ends up in the ocean, but recycling correctly can be a lot harder than you’d expect. Check the number inside the recycling logo on your plastic product, then check your city or community’s waste management website or facility to see what kinds of plastics are accepted.
- Some kinds of plastic need to separated before you put them in the recycling bin. Others aren’t typically accepted at all, including styrofoam, plastic bags, and cling wrap.
- Recycling guidelines in many areas can change without much warning, so check them frequently.
Donate to an organization that helps to protect the ocean.If you can’t make it out to a beach clean-up or other event, you can make a difference from home by donating to conservation organizations and research efforts. Search online to find an organization you want to donate to.
- Read a bit about what the organization does to make sure it’s a cause you support.
- Watch out for charity scams. Google the organization to see if it’s been written about in legitimate publications, and make sure it has a professional website. If you’re in doubt, it’s always best to play it safe and donate to a different organization.
Continuing Your Commitment
Continue learning about the ocean.Go online to learn about the ocean and World Oceans Day. The ocean is one of the most mysterious and incredible places on earth, and learning more about it and the holiday dedicated to it will only deepen your appreciation. Take a couple of minutes to look up interesting facts online about different ocean ecosystems or your favorite marine animals and the environmental issues facing them today.
- You could also look up videos online for a glimpse of life under the sea. Look for videos with colorful coral or interesting creatures like giant squid or angler fish.
- Head to the World Oceans Day website for information on its history, its annual theme, and ways to get involved.
Make sure the products you use don't exploit marine life.Do some research to find out what products and food are produced through unsustainable methods or contain environmentally harmful ingredients. Avoiding these products can put pressure on companies to switch to more environmentally-friendly practices.
- For example, stores often sell jewelry made out of coral or sea turtle shell, while some cosmetics can contain shark squalene. Avoiding these products is a way to protest unsustainable fishing and ecosystem destruction.
Vote for public officials who will help protect the ocean.Do your research on each candidate, paying particular attention to their views on environment and ocean protection and their ideas on taking action. Vote for the candidates that you think will reflect your views on conservation and ecosystem protection.
- After election day, continue to make a difference by writing in to your representatives with complaints about local waterway preservation, unsustainable practices, and more.
Visit your local beach to appreciate the wildlife.Swim or snorkel at your local beach to appreciate the wildlife. If you live near the ocean or a lake, grab a swimsuit or wetsuit and a pair of goggles and celebrate World Oceans Day by going for a swim! You can see some amazing plants and animals even near shore.
- You can also enjoy ocean wildlife from the beach by exploring tidal pools, which can be filled with unique creatures like anemones, barnacles, and starfish.
Video: We Celebrate World Oceans Day
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