ORLANDO, Fla. - June 18 is World Oceans Day, and the state of our oceans has a lot of people talking. About 8 million tons of plastic are dumped into our oceans yearly, according to National Geographic.
A small but significant contributor to this is the single-use plastic straw, which has been gaining widespread attention. If dumped into the ocean, plastic straws pose a threat to sea creatures. Movements like The Last Plastic Straw are working to raise awareness about plastic waste. Check out some alternatives to the traditional plastic straw here.
Every person can make a difference in reducing human impact on the environment. Here are some small actions you can make this World Oceans Day to protect our bodies of water:
- Reduce your plastic consumption. Investing in your own reusable stainless steel or glass straw can make a big difference in maintaining a sustainable environment. Bringing your own canvas bags to the grocery store and using reusable water bottles are also good ways to reduce your use of plastic. These small changes can save the lives of marine animals.
- Be conscious about how much energy you’re using. Turn off lights and faucets that you’re not using. Turn on a fan instead of lowering the thermostat. Commute to work by bicycle or public transportation a few days a week.
- Keep our beaches clean. Always clean up after yourself on your trips to the beach. A garbage can may not always be present, so bring a bag to store your trash. Make sure to tear apart and dispose of plastic soda rings, which are specifically threatening to birds and turtles. Never drop your cigarette butts on the shore – they’re not biodegradable and can introduce harmful chemicals into the water.
- Donate your money or time to an environmental organization. Do some quick research to find a legitimate organization to donate to, or get a few friends together and devote a day to helping the environment in some way.
Here are some World Oceans Day events happening in the Orlando area to help you celebrate the environment and learn more about ocean conservation:
- Orlando Science Center World Oceans Day celebration
- Polk's Nature Discovery Center Film Screening, “The Smog of the Sea”
- Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens World Oceans Day event
- World Oceans Day at Sea Life Orlando
- Epcot World Oceans Day Special Offerings
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