During the coronavirus pandemic we have all had a role to play to help support and protect one another. And so, this World’s Ocean Day we want to help raise awareness of the impact litter has on our oceans and what you can do to help look after them. About 70% of the oxygen we breathe is produced by the oceans, so it is really important that as we start to go out and about more, we understand the essential role our oceans play in nature, and keep our litter from ending up in the sea.
Depending on where you live in the country the ocean may feel far away or it may only be down the road. However, did you know that the ocean actually covers about 70% of the Earth’s surface? Sadly, each year, 8 million tonnes of plastic waste ends up in our oceans. Some of this comes from litter that people drop on the ground. So even if you don’t live by the ocean, your actions can still have an impact.
World Oceans Day is celebrated on 8 June 2020. The day recognises the global movement that is calling on world leaders to protect 30% of our blue planet by 2030. It is hoped that by safeguarding at least 30% of our ocean through a network of highly protected areas, we can help to ensure a healthy home for all.
Here is a list of our top five favourite facts about the big blue sea:
1. The ocean is home to the world’s largest living structure – the Great Barrier Reef. Measuring around 2,600km, it can even be seen from the Moon!
2. While there are hundreds of thousands of known marine life forms, there are many that are yet to be discovered, some scientists suggest that there could actually be millions of marine life forms out there. Creepy right?
3. The Pacific Ocean is surrounded by the Pacific Ring of Fire, a large number of active volcanoes.
4. The deepest known area of the Earth’s oceans is known as the Mariana Trench. It’s deepest point measures 11km. That’s a long dive down!
5. The longest mountain range in the world is found under water. Stretching over 56,000km, the Mid-Oceanic Ridge is a mountain chain that runs along the centre of the ocean basins.
So how can you play your part in protecting the ocean? Well, making sure you put your rubbish in the bin is a great start, but there are also lots of different activities you can do to reduce your plastic waste and increase your positive impact on the world. One idea we liked on the World Oceans Day website was to get involved in upcycling plastic waste. We have included one example below but perhaps you can think of creative ways to upcycle your litter? Why not share your creations with us on Twitter by using the #upcycledlitter hashtag?
The term upcycling is also known as “creative reuse.” It is the process of transforming waste materials, by-products and unwanted products that are bound for the trash, into new materials or more useful products with higher value and quality.
How to upcycle your yoghurt pots to grow seeds
• Empty yogurt Pot
• Used teabags
• Seed of your choice
• Paper towel
• Paint and paint brush (optional)
1. Clean the yogurt containers by rinsing them in soapy water.
2. Ensure the containers are fully dry and rid of bubbles before making the seedling pot.
Making the seedling pots:
1. Feel free to paint the yogurt container and personalise it using paint and paint brush as much as desired. You can explore different patterns and colours. Get creative! Allow to dry before continuing.
2. Fold the paper towel so that it fits into the yogurt container. Put it into the bottom of the container and wet it so it is damp.
3. Soak the used tea bag and place it on top of the damp, folded paper towel.
4. Make a hole in the top of the teabag and insert the seed of your choice. When the seeds germinate and the seedlings are about 2 cm tall, plant them in their bags in the garden or in a pot on your windowsill.