On World Oceans Day, 7 tips to plan a guilt-free beach vacation

Americans love the sea—but do they love it enough to work hard to save it, even if it means a more conscientious vacation?

Beaches are the most popular recreational destination for adults in the United States. In a survey, 52% of respondents said that sand, waves, boardwalks and everything that goes with them are their preferred type of vacation. according to stats.

But the sea is not only a travel and leisure resource. It’s a huge resource for the world, period.

And how June 8 marks United Nations World Oceans Dayit is a perfect time to take stock of our relationship with this rich and threatened wonder.

“Revitalization: Collective Action for the Oceans” is the theme for World Oceans Day 2022, a year under the UN Decade of Ocean Sciences and the celebration of United Nations Ocean Conference.

Read: Here’s the tiny percentage of plastic that gets recycled despite single-use bans, taxes and incentives

Why should I care about oceans?

The seven great oceans and seas of the earth are a lifeline. These waters produce at least 50% of the planet’s oxygen; harbor most of the biodiversity on earth; and are the primary source of protein for more than a billion people around the world.

Also, sea-based industries are worth at least 3.5% of global gross domestic product (GDP), a figure close to that Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development will double in size by 2030.

The ocean is important for its ecology, but it also has cultural and social significance. More than 3 billion people depend on the ocean for their livelihood, and more than 350 million jobs worldwide are linked to the ocean.

Read: New World Oceans Day ETF invests in plastic containment and smarter fishing

In the past, the ocean’s size and resilience have made it a challenging conservation campaign. However, do not underestimate the importance of this movement.

With 90% of large fish populations depleted and 50% of coral reefs bleached and destroyed by warmer water, we are taking more from the ocean than can be replenished without more urgent action.

Overfishing, harmful commercial fishing practices, an ever-growing microplastic problem and the effects of climate change are taking their toll. According to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the European Chemicals Agency, microplastics are fragments of any type of plastic less than 5 millimeters in length. Some break off larger pieces of plastic, others are made as small as the grit intentionally incorporated into sunscreen and toothpaste.

Do not miss: Plastic was first found in human blood. Is this a public health risk?

Can individuals make a difference on World Oceans Day? Yes.

Take a close look at the habits of both your daily water use – which can impact the oceans even if you never set foot on a beach – and your seaside vacations. Even a small change can bring big benefits, and you will be all the better for it. And these tips can help you enjoy a guilt-free trip to the coast.

  1. Understand your impact. That National Ocean Service, part of NOAA, is a valuable resource on all things ocean. NOAA has a handy chart that outlines consumer behavior and its impact on the oceans.


2. Do not carry unnecessary items with you on the beach to reduce the likelihood of leaving them behind. Bring your own reusable water bottles, food containers, and at least one garbage bag so you don’t leave litter or overload public garbage cans. Avoid wrapping food in aluminum foil or plastic wrap, as these materials can be particularly hazardous to marine life.

While it’s difficult to say exactly how much plastic is in the ocean, scientists are pondering 8 million tons Plastic entered the sea in 2010. That’s the weight of almost 90 aircraft carriers, and the problem keeps growing.

3. Bonfires on the beach can burn both the air and the water. Keep in mind that old fire pits and ash affect water quality but can also be a significant contributor to air pollution. However, when one widens the lens, the science on the ash’s effects on wildlife and plant life is mixed Some evidence points to a resurgence of tiny marine life of nutrients after the recent mammoth wildfires in Australia. For now, be careful and let the scientists figure it out. Be sure to cover the campfire circle with rocks and cover the ashes with sand to keep them from getting into the water.

4. Throwing cigarettes or their ashes in the sand can leave behind toxins and pollutants. Instead, bring your own ashtray to the beach. In a laboratory study conducted by a non-profit anti-smoking organizationthe chemicals leached from a single cigarette butt (soaked in a liter of water for 24 hours) released enough toxins to kill 50% of saltwater and freshwater fish exposed to it for 96 hours.

5. After relaxing, spend 30 minutes doing a deep beach clean and feel the endorphins as you help others. Encourage your friends and family to do the same and cover different areas of the beach for a deep clean. You can even make it a fun activity by attaching a prize to a job well done.

If you want to make a beach clean even more comprehensive, e.g. B. with some advertising and the invitation of many volunteers, has some tips. They emphasize that before you start, you determine what you will do with the recovered garbage. Will it be easy to do? Is the area path-free accessible? Make sure you read local waste disposal guidelines and decide in advance how you will sort and dispose of recovered waste.

6. If you enjoy seafood on a beach vacation, take a moment to think about fish and shellfish. Ask local markets and restaurants where they get their fresh seafood from so you can at least be informed and make your purchase decisions with full knowledge of the origin of the dish. That Marine Conservation Society regularly updates its website with fish to avoid buying or consuming it due to overfishing or other considerations.

In fact, taking more responsibility for sourcing our fish for consumption is one facet of an economic plan proposed by the World Resources Institute to save the oceans.

says WRI Investments from $2 to $3.7 trillion worldwide in four key areas – Conservation and Restoration mangrove habitatsscaling offshore wind energy ICLN,
decarbonizing international shipping and increasing the production of sustainably sourced, ocean-based proteins — would generate combined benefits of $10.3 trillion to $26.5 trillion over the next 30 years. This corresponds to a return on investment of 400% to 615%.

7. Ecotourism continues to expand. Consider sharing your beach vacation with professors, scientists, activists, and other tourists who want to make their mark on ocean and beach conservation, albeit with a small tourist footprint.

Several international organizations are targeting the most vulnerable coasts.

Steeped in tradition, Seacology offers unique ecotourism adventures in the world’s islands, timeout reports, where travelers interact with locals and are part of the formula that helps preserve habitats and communities. Seacology guests explore the coral reefs of Fiji into the rainforests of Borneo while staying in well-appointed resorts and visiting important cultural sites.

Marine Conservation Philippines is one such organization dedicated to preserving and protecting coastal regions across the country. MCP also operates an environmentally conscious diving program.

For climate-conscious tourism in a broader sense discover corps has long had a place on vacation with a purpose. The company, part of terra formationand a certified one B corporationworks with full transparency and has become something of a gold standard for the model, says TimeOut. On World Oceans Day, 7 tips to plan a guilt-free beach vacation

Brian Lowry

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