Care for our oceans and environment

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Megan Morfey

members of the eco chico’s club volunteering and doing beach clean ups!

Megan Morfey, Plaid Truth Staff

 

Heading into summer most of us will the soaking up the summer sun and spending time at the beach. Global warming has also been an important issue that we need to address and what better time than now, would it be to talk about ways we can all take action to help our oceans. There are many ways we can help prevent more damage to our oceans, including things we do at home, around town, and most importantly on the water.

At home, there are 3 easy steps we can take to help make an impact, including conserving water, reducing pollutants, and reducing waste. Conserving water takes some simple steps but makes a huge improvement by using less water so excess runoff will not flow into the ocean. We can reduce pollutants by choosing nontoxic chemicals and dispose of all chemicals properly. Last but not least we can reduce waste by cutting down on what we throw away. Around town, we can make different choices to help make an impact to improve the environment but these choices might also inspire others as well. One thing you can do is think about shopping more wisely by choosing sustainable seafood and when you’re done shopping, you can bring reusable bags instead of wasting plastic. Another great tip would be to reduce vehicle pollution by using fuel-efficient vehicles or riding a bike once and a while. The most important tips are things we do on or around water. The small changes we make can make a huge difference and these are things everyone can do.

Step one is respecting the habitat! Healthy habitat and survival go hand in hand and we must treat our oceans with care. Most importantly we need to practice and encourage safe boating and responsible fishing. These are all super easy steps that we can implement in our daily lives that will make positive changes in our oceans. When your at the beach this summer, it’s also really important to protect your skin and wear sunscreen, but most of us don’t know how the sunscreen we wear affects our oceans. The sunscreen you apply may not stay on your skin so when we swim or shower, sunscreen may wash off and enter our waterways and oceans. After you swim or shower it off common ingredients like oxybenzone, octinoxate, nano titanium dioxide, and nano zinc oxide can go into our waterways and harm coral reefs and sea creatures in our oceans. Senior Kylei Gilbert said, “I wasn’t aware that these ingredients existed in sunscreen or how they can harm our oceans. I wish I knew of better ways I could have been informed about these things because I think there are a lot of people like me out there who also don’t know the impact of these simple things we all do.” So instead of adding to this ongoing crisis, we can make simple changes in the sunscreen we use! Brands like Sunbum and Neutrogena are reef safe and will help keep our oceans and marine life safe.

Students can get hands-on, and learn more ways to help the environment by visiting the eco chicos club on campus. Eco chicos is partly run by vice president Celeste Esparza. This club can be a great way for students to get involved in environmental work and she wants to share more about the club. Celeste said, “The Ecos Chicos came about during my Sophomore year of high school. Our objective/main goal is to spread the word amongst the students and staff to take into account how important our earth is and how we must take good care of it. We meet every 2nd & 4th Thursday of the month from 11:30 am to 12:00 pm, and we inform the members about current environmental issues such as global warming, fast fashion and how harmful it is to the environment, America’s issues on food waste, and how harmful plastic pollution is on our environment. We have multiple volunteer opportunities for our club members, which allows them to not only impact our environment for the better but to also gain volunteer hours. I think this club is a great way for students to learn about issues going on in our environment and learn how they can be more environmentally friendly. I am a part/Co-created this club because I always wanted to be involved in something so important, I think it is really important to know what is going on in our community/environment and to inform others of such and such. Not only that but it is a fun and educational way to meet new people who have similar interests as you and grow strong friendships.” This an amazing opportunity that all students should consider especially if you feel like you could be more informed on steps you can personally take at home or on your next trip to the beach and remember, we all must do our part!