Last Thursday, the New England Aquarium hosted the 11th lecture in its free fall series: Meet Your Local Garbage Patch. During the lecture, attendees were introduced to the Rozalia Project, an organization that works on implementing solutions for clean oceans. Trash in our oceans is of increasing concern as we discover more about the toxics that can leech from plastics and other man-made materials. After digesting Rachel Miller's inspiring lecture, I present to you, 6 tips to save the ocean:
1. Stop smoking. In addition to the health concerns, cigarette butts take about 7 years to biodegrade in the ocean, and are one of the most common trash items found by the Rozalia Project on sea floors.
2. Use a refillable waterbottle. Water might be good for you, but plastic bottles take a lot longer to biodegrade than cigarettes - about 450 years! Avoid plastic bottles!
3. Watch out for urban trash cans. When they overflow, the trash can get swept up in rain water, down our storm drains and into the harbor. Wait until you see a non-overflowing trashcan to dispose of your trash - or better yet, alert area officials that the recepticle is in need of emptying.
4. Switch your facewash. Plastic beads from cosmetic exfoliants are of increasing concern to our oceans because of the incredible difficulty required to clean them. Use a facewash with naturally derived beads - or even better, switch to bar soap.
5. Picnic consciously. Unsurprisingly, most of the trash that the Rozalia Project finds in the harbors is food related - plastic cups, beer cans, food wrappers, etc. All are evidence that we love spending time at the beach and on the water, so make sure when you do these things that you dispose of all your trash appropriately.
6. Get educated. Learn about threats to the ocean and get involved with the solutions by following the Rozalia Project and other ocean-themed organizations.