Protecting our oceans for years to come


Lining the beaches with discarded waste, the man-made destruction slowly begins to seep its way into the ocean. If these disposable plastic products end up in the ocean, they will have destructive effects on the health of the ocean itself and the health of the marine organisms that live in the ecosystem.

Maggie Cargile, Staff Reporter

In honor of today being World Turtle Day, it is important to pause for a moment and reassess the effect our daily habits have on our planet, especially our oceans and marine life. If you have been on any given social media platform lately, you are almost certain to see one of your peers posting something regarding the protection of our oceans and our environment as a whole. It has been brought to our attention that our planet is dying and needs our help fast. With summer just around the corner, it is the perfect time to step up and to save our oceans.

 One of the biggest problems in our oceans today is that they are being treated as landfills, full of floating waste. This not only harms the health of the ocean, but severely harms the organisms dwelling within the waters. As a result, a major threat to marine life right now is plastic. Every day as humans, we improperly dispose of our plastic, and each year over eight million tons of plastic winds up in our oceans. It is common for marine organisms to mistake the plastic as food, and this leaves them severely harmed and oftentimes dead. Luckily, there are many ways we can reduce our plastic footprint and save our marine ecosystems.

 An easy and important way to reduce your plastic use would be to invest in glass or stainless steel straws. Plastic straws, which we most often see in everyday life, are non-recyclable. Since they can only be used one time, there is an overabundance of plastic straws polluting our oceans right now. Investing in glass or stainless steel straws is a great way to help out the environment, because not only can you wash and reuse these straws over and over again, but you will also significantly reduce the amount of litter in the ocean by reducing your use of plastic straws. Investing in reusable alternatives to plastic is the first step to decluttering our oceans. Not only can you invest in reusable drinking straws but also a multitude of other sustainable alternatives to products we throw away almost everyday. These can range anywhere from water bottles and grocery totes to cloth napkins and towels, and travel coffee mugs.

 Reducing your plastic usage will help protect the health of our oceans, but will also save you money in the long run. By using sustainable versions of things you would normally be charged a small fee for (i.e.-water bottles, plastic grocery bags, etc) you will save money by reusing products. While it may not seem like big savings at first, as you continue this trend, you will save quite a bit in the long run. It is also noted that by not using plastic you can reduce your risk of obtaining a serious illness later in life. Going plastic-free this summer will not only benefit the oceans, but will also benefit your health and wallet in the long term.