It’s no exaggeration to say that this year about seventy per cent of the texts I have translated have been on the subject of climate change, renewable energies, sustainability, recycling, the circular economy, the plastic continent floating around the ocean, and so on, and so forth. If it weren’t for the United States and the famous Climate-Change-Denier-in-Chief, anyone would think that the entire world has finally woken up to the fact that we are destroying the planet!
Anyway, Saturday, 8 June is World Oceans Day, a global event that will involve hundreds of gatherings around the world to protect and honour our oceans. The oceans are critical to our survival because they generate most of the oxygen we breathe, provide us with fish to eat, regulate the climate, clean the water we drink, are a source of endless medicines and are also beautiful and inspirational.
In some spots, volunteers are being invited to show up with gloves, water and bags to pick up rubbish and debris from beaches, while some schools are holding writing contest for World Oceans Days, whereby students will write poetry, prose and plays on the theme of water. Very motivational!
Although most of the articles appearing about pollution in our oceans and seas are full of doom and gloom, green groups are growing, and business, governments and individuals around the world are finally taking action. For example, Indonesia is the world’s second-worst ocean polluter (after China) and the country has recognised that it is time to clean up its act. The Minister of Maritime Affairs has announced a budget of $1 billion to reduce plastic pollution by 70% by 2025. That’s great news!
Once you have an image of the huge floating plastic continent in the sea, it’s hard to buy water in plastic bottles. The US use about 50 billion every year and only cycle around 23% of them, the remainder going into landfills and the sea, where they will remain for at least 450 years. It can even take some bottles 1000 years to biodegrade! Summer is coming and its time to buy yourself a water bottle or flask to carry everywhere so you can stop buying bottled water.
You can also join an organisation like 4ocean, a great organisation on a mission to end the ocean plastic crisis. Almost 5 million pounds of trash has already been removed from oceans and coastlines by paid 4ocean employees since 2017 through the sale of their products, such as bracelets. For more information, visit 4ocean.com.