Saving our environment: Start with one thing.

Lusca says “No trash on the beach.” PHOTO CREDIT: Jillian Morris Brake.
Lusca says “No trash on the beach.” PHOTO CREDIT: Jillian Morris Brake.

[dropcap]O[/dropcap]n December 2, the documentary ‘Racing Extinction’ aired on Discovery Channel and has spread a powerful message across the globe; “Start with one thing.” The news is constantly filled with stories of environmental damage from overfishing to climate change and it can be extremely overwhelming. As someone who works in the world of shark conservation, I know how frustrating and heartbreaking environmental issues can be. There are days I just want to throw my hands up, but then I find a reason not to, a reason to keep fighting to save these amazing animals.

I teach kids that no matter how young they are, they can a make a difference. This is something we can all think about and take to heart. Each day we can “start with one thing,” and make a change. There are simple acts we can all do each day to make a positive change for the planet. I know we’ve all heard this phrase over and over, “Reduce, reuse and recycle,” but it’s true and something we can all do.

  1. Reduce the amount of single use plastic we buy (plastic bags and bottled water).
  2. Do a beach cleanup: Many of us, myself included, live near the beach, so why not turn a beach walk into a cleanup? Just five minutes and you can remove a lot of trash.
  3. Be a responsible consumer: The money we spend has a huge impact on the world and we can “vote” with our dollars. Think about where the food you are buying came from, how it was produced, the packaging it comes in. When it comes to seafood, is it sustainable? How was it caught? Where did it come from?
  4. Be an ocean advocate: Fishermen, divers, boaters and spearos all love the ocean and we all have the opportunity to share that love and respect with others. Speak for the oceans and share them with someone. Take your kids on the water, learn to scuba dive, make sure trash on your boat stays on your boat or share photos of your ocean adventures with friends and family.
  5. Find out about local conservation organizations and get involved. Volunteers are always needed. You can also visit places on your travels and support eco-tourism and local efforts to preserve the environment.

Making a difference can be simple and fun. You do not have to overhaul your life, but simply chose to change one small thing.

Bimini Biological Field Station (Sharklab) tour open to the public. PHOTO CREDIT: Jillian Morris Brake.
Bimini Biological Field Station (Sharklab) tour open to the public. PHOTO CREDIT: Jillian Morris Brake.
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