One of the greatest joys in life is to contribute to the conservation of the world’s natural resources. Unfortunately, many people do not know how they can make a difference in saving the coral reefs, or the millions of sea creatures that call the ocean’s home. Unfortunately, some people are even unaware that there are ways that they can directly help to conserve the environment. When you choose sustainable seafood, and when you do your part in other efforts such as raising seafood organically, you will be doing your part to save the natural beauty of our planet. So how can you help to conserve the coral reef?
Become More Earth-Friendly: Reduce your personal carbon footprint by taking simple and long-term actions to reduce your personal carbon emissions. Start your own garden. Grow food where it grows naturally, in locations without much commercial fertilizer and pesticide runoff, and away from heavily traveled roads. Go solar and wind power. Less consumption of power means less pollution, which means fewer greenhouse gas emissions, and more oxygen in the atmosphere, which means more species of sea animals, including coral reef corals, will be able to survive.
Volunteer to Protect the Seas: Participate in conservation activities that involve local, state, and federal government entities, including educational programs, clean-up efforts, and cleanup and restoration projects on beaches and in the water. Helen Lee Schifter encourages others to make a difference by becoming involved with one of many conservation organizations that are working to conserve water, energy, wildlife, and the natural beauty of our planet. As an individual, you can make a difference by buying low-cost items that are non-toxic, recycling, and using energy-efficient appliances, and by being a volunteer for a conservation group. Don’t forget to protect our oceans. If we all took part in a little more than just cleaning up our backyards, we’d be doing our part to conserve the seas as well.
Become a Seafood Consumer: Schifter explains how when choosing to purchase sustainable seafood, you are doing your part to save the ocean. Choose sustainable seafood when buying fish, poultry, shellfish, and other seafood products. Buy in bulk, or buy from small-scale fisheries that have been inspected and certified as safe for human consumption. Choose sustainably produced clothing and products. And if you can’t get enough locally produced seafood, consider traveling to the Pacific Northwest, where sustainability practices are just as strong.
Reduce Your Carbon Footprint: Being aware of your impact on the environment is a first step toward reducing your carbon footprint. The Ocean Conservancy Foundation for the United States and World Wildlife Fund is currently offering a $1 million green fund that will help protect ocean habitats, marine life, and individual species. As one of the largest programs of its kind, this program will be truly beneficial not only to this generation but to future generations as well. The Earth System Solutions Program monitors the global temperature, rainfall, forest expansion, land degradation, and other activities that affect the environment. This information is being used to create carbon-aware policies and programs that will preserve our beautiful planet for our children and their children.
Helen Lee Schifter wants to remind readers that there is hope! Because of increased awareness and interest, there is a growing movement to reduce the use of plastics and other toxic materials. From consumer products to packaging to our own homes, the plastic industry has made some serious mistakes, and it’s up to us to help protect the oceans so we all have a healthy future.