7 ways you can help the Great Barrier Reef (and Planet Earth as a whole)
2nd of July 2018
Eliminate single-use plastics If you purchase a take away coffee, take your own reusable cup. If you must use a straw, consider purchasing one made from a material such as bamboo or aluminium. If you can’t eliminate, recycle what you can! Single use plastics account for some scary statistics, with over 500 million plastic straws used PER DAY in America alone. Experts estimate that there are currently over five trillion pieces of plastic scattered across our globe, including in our oceans and reef systems. The actions of one person can make a difference!
Educate yourself. Whether its viewing an online TED talk about The Great Barrier Reef and ocean conservation, attending a seminar by a marine biologist like ‘Reef Teach’ in Cairns or sitting down with Attenborough to explore The Great Barrier Reef, the more you can learn about the Reef, ocean and its importance, the better equipped you will be to help preserve it!
Talk about the environment. Tell as many friends and family as possible what you are trying to achieve and the importance of what you are fighting for. Don’t forget the importance of social media in giving you a voice; share articles and as well as photographs of clean-up efforts you undertake or non-plastic alternatives. The more people see something, the more likely they are to act themselves.
Become a Reef Citizen. By signing up to become a citizen of the Great Barrier Reef (https://citizensgbr.org/), you are pledging to take action and make a difference to our natural treasure. Founder of Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef, Andy Ridley says “The actions of people across the planet will define the future of the Great Barrier Reef”. This is your chance to be on the right side of history.
Actions speak louder than empathy. It’s all well and good to feel bad about the Reef and what is happening to our environment. It’s another thing all together to act on these feelings; to recycle your waste, purchase reusable plastic products (or use a different material all together) and pick up a few pieces of rubbish when you go to the beach. Every small action makes a difference and speaks volumes for the health of the Great Barrier Reef (as well as the planet as a whole).
Conserve water. This might be an obvious one but the more water you use, the more runoff that is created that finds its way back into the ocean. Runoff water can contain all sorts of nasties that are bad for the environment, such as rubbish, petroleum, fertilisers and other toxic wastes. In some places in the world, beaches actually close to the public when runoff contains sewage and medical waste- certainly not by-products we want to send back out into The Great Barrier Reef ecosystem.
Come and visit. Take the time to come and visit the Reef if and when you can. It is only by experiencing the sheer beauty of this underwater world that you are able to appreciate just what we are fighting for, and how important it is to leave it for future generations.